How much does diversity really help?

Topic. People on this forum seem to act like diversity makes recruiting so much easier but how much is that really true? Does diversity really make that much of a difference as people say on this forum?

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Comments (91)

Oct 3, 2021 - 6:19pm

Considering the social and political environment in the world, it's going be more and more "helpful." Debatable on if it is beneficial on a macro scale, it's becoming more important for companies to become more diverse (in my opinion, diverse professional experience is great but if we're talking race/ethnicity? No, I don't agree with that current stance that seems prevalent in every corporate company).

Most Helpful
Oct 3, 2021 - 6:49pm

In terms of increasing the likelihood of you receiving an offer from a large company - yes, 100%. Companies are concerned with appearing to be "woke", and the best way to do this is to hire "diverse" candidates. This topic has been discussed at great detail in numerous threads on this website. One point that has been made but isn't always highlighted is that although diversity hiring may result in a more qualified candidate receiving a rejection, true ballers shouldn't feel threatened by it. Idk how else to describe this "baller" but if you go to a target school and graduate with a 4.0 and relevant internships there is almost a 0% chance you will be passed on for a position because there is a minority candidate who also applied. Now, if the black dude also went to a target school and has a decent GPA + experience, he might beat you out even if you have better grades and arguably better experience.I think diversity in school of thought can be good, but that doesn't result when you add the black kid who went to private school his entire life to a group of white dudes. If people actually cared about true diversity, recruiting for these "high finance" jobs would focus on socio-economic status more than the color of one's skin. As stated above, companies don't actually care about true diversity - they do it to make themselves look good.Main point is yes, being what's considered a diversity candidate (black, female, and can't believe this is how the world works but gay) will make recruiting much easier, however if you're truly cream of the crop then you shouldn't be worried about how Juan will have a leg up in recruiting. If you're the only white guy in the gym for pickup basketball, you probably won't get picked even if you're good. However, if everyone knows you're the Kyle Korver of your local YMCA circuit, you're gonna get chosen simply because you're too good not to get picked.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 4, 2021 - 5:21am

I agree with what you said - really disagree with  counting as diversity black students who went to top private schools and graduated top of their class from Harvard / Oxford. They have exactly the same background as white peers. 

Tbh I really disagree with diversity recruiting (and I don't actually consider females as diversity, and for gays... like seriously, why does it even come up in interviews?)  In some fields (consulting) being diversity gives you a really massive leg up and I've seen that been the case for rich kids more often than under-advantaged ones. 

The better alternative IMO would be to help more underprivileged backgrounds (independently of skin colour or sexual orientation) earlier on in life so the issue can be addressed at the source. But I'm sure some diversity candidates will disagree with my post. I think for females, there are less female at top levels, but I'm not convinced that recruiting 2% more girls in IB will help change that... 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 4, 2021 - 12:29pm

I get where you're coming from, but the issue that's trying to "be addressed at the source" isn't about those from underprivileged backgrounds. It's purely about underrepresented groups in the industry, which is ethnic minorities, chicks, and gays. I get that ideally you would want companies to address socioeconomic disparities and all, but their goal is distinct from programs like those of universities

Oct 4, 2021 - 9:35am

Do something like what? Anything other than openly praising "diversity" is now viewed as being racist and makes you a Nazi. Cancel culture is out of control - the media will do everything in its power to destroy anyone who goes against the liberal school of thought (feels like they don't even think so calling it this is a stretch).

Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

It's quite shocking. But that's what happens when your ruling class is made up of the most hateful people on the planet.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

Oct 4, 2021 - 5:36pm

Most diversity candidates at my bank would never receive an offer if they were judged by non-diversity standards.

Most white people in your office wouldn't have a job if it weren't for the inbred nature of hiring on Wall Street, where objective intelligence or talent almost always takes a back seat to who you know.

Poor folks and minorities don't have those established networks of interpersonal and professional relationships, and thus get left out when the "recruiting" process starts up.  For every butthurt white 22 year old complaining about how some minority with a lower GPA got a job when he didn't, you never hear one making the same argument about the huge numbers of straight white men who get jobs in banking when they have no business being there.  Solving for outcome in the short term will help solve for opportunity in the long term.

Oct 5, 2021 - 10:07am


Most diversity candidates at my bank would never receive an offer if they were judged by non-diversity standards.

Most white people in your office wouldn't have a job if it weren't for the inbred nature of hiring on Wall Street, where objective intelligence or talent almost always takes a back seat to who you know.

Poor folks and minorities don't have those established networks of interpersonal and professional relationships, and thus get left out when the "recruiting" process starts up.  For every butthurt white 22 year old complaining about how some minority with a lower GPA got a job when he didn't, you never hear one making the same argument about the huge numbers of straight white men who get jobs in banking when they have no business being there.  Solving for outcome in the short term will help solve for opportunity in the long term.

This 100%. I've pointed out the hypocrisy over and over again, but of course since this sub is mostly white guys, my comments barely register here. It's a wonder how these guys go through the mental gymnastics to not complain about the shit ton of wealthy white kids who funnel their way into banking and instead complain about some distant minority candidate out there in the ether who is taking their "well deserved spot" in banking. Like buddy, this world is already designed for you, and if you can't get into banking on your own even if a few "diversity" candidates are allegedly getting an easier hand for once in their lives, then maybe the problem is YOU. 

Oct 3, 2021 - 10:24pm

It definitely helps in landing a job. However, once you start, you'll be considered a lower end performer who was just hired because of diversity to check the box. I don't blame banks though. Most diversity candidates end up being in n the bottom buckets

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Oct 4, 2021 - 6:14pm

Non-diversity going to EVR who just summered there. From other kids at my school, I know that it is marginally easier to go to EVR as diversity as a fact (could get more specific but don't wanna doxx). However, we still have some of the most difficult banking interviews outside of RX and I would honestly bet that EVR diversity interviews are more difficult than any BB non-diversity even. Same for PJT/CVP. The diversity kids I know there could've gotten offers anywhere else on the street non-diversity.

Oct 4, 2021 - 12:51pm

Fr bro no one games diversity programs harder than Asian women. I would argue that Asian and Indian women are some of the most well represented per capita in this industry and they still get access to diversity programs.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 4, 2021 - 1:30pm

How much does it help the firms performance. Probably debatable. How much value can the firm get from sucking its own PR dick? Priceless

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 4, 2021 - 3:49pm

As a diverse candidate, I can say that for EBs and MFPE it may help to get an interview, but the technical questions are still the same, but since I didn't recruit for BBs I don't know how much harder/easier the interviews are. I can say that GS gave me 3 super days in 3 different front office positions, even though I told them each time that I signed elsewhere. From my understanding though, in general, BB interviews for non-diverse candidates aren't that hard, especially if you go to a target school.

Imo, if you had to rank in terms of who has it easiest: Diversity + target school > Nepotism > target school/semi-target >= Diversity > non-targets > Asian non-targets

What people on WSO like to forget is that these banks have the pick of the litter when it comes to diverse candidates, so they can literally hand pick the best of the best. Of course the occasional bottom bucket may slip through, but the kid who got the job based on nepotism is just as likely to be bad too.

Also, the idea that it makes it harder for non URMs is BS too. There may be slightly less spots out of a BB class of >150 (mainly due to white women), but most top diverse students have an entirely different recruiting process than non diverse students, so 95% of the time, in your super day, you're losing out to a non URM not the Black girl from Spelman.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

Are you kidding? You really think that diversity + target is easier than Nepotism?? Being at a target school makes it easier for anyone, because of self-selection. 99% of the time, a diversity kid at a target would successfully recruit regardless… because, believe it or not, they got into the target and are also smart. This shit isn't rocket science.

Chet from Wofford College with a 3.1 can sidestep all of this shit with a phone call from his dad to the MD.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 4, 2021 - 4:11pm

BB interviews are so laughable easy that it's funny hearing salty prospects/rejected candidates complain about diversity kids getting offers from them. If you don't get a BB offer, it's because you're unlikable and did poorly on behaviorals, or have zero clue about finance (not surprising if you're going through BB recruiting after you got rejected at all the EBs). Oh, and for the nontargets that have trouble getting to the interview stage, maybe you should've given a shit in HS to get into a target

Bring on the MS 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Oct 4, 2021 - 7:17pm

Is it this way in Europe and Asia? I imagine the current diversity initiative is really only possible (and 'desired') in America. The US is likely the most diverse nation in the world, so if companies here wanted to fashionably hire a bunch of non-white, non-Asian people they easily could. [I don't think a London office could get the same mix so easily] edit: Apparently London could.

Hong Kong and Tokyo offices would be wracking their brains trying to find non-Asians. They might have to pass off white guys as diversity, or even Asian people of other nationalities like Korean or Vietnamese. Give it five or ten years people will either wake up and realize how patronizing and racist this looks, or will have doubled down and straight up refuse to hire 'overrepresented' people. Super weird environment where your race makes so much of a difference in how companies view you as a candidate.

Edit: Alright yea London is very diverse, I agree with the guy below. I forgot Europe gets a huge draw from all over. Still stand by Asia's homogeneity though. America is also diverse in the way that modern diversity champions like. Everyone except for the native Americans is an immigrant or descended from immigrants sometime in the last 2-300 years, so there isn't one way an 'American' should look. You couldn't blame someone for expecting a Fin to look Finnish or a Dane to look Danish. 

Oct 4, 2021 - 8:50pm

I am from a third-world country and I would say that is as important as in the US. Sure the criteria are not the same because we are almost all the same ethnic group however there are literally quotas to women/poor/public schooled/agriculture families/etc. In the developing world with weak institutions some things that are unconstitutional in the US happen here, for example, an analyst class that is just for XYZ group. I got both a scholarship and a job because of these, however, I am not really sure how I feel about it. I would rather see companies/government helping really poor people then helping college-educated people get a top job.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 10:51am

In India, roughly 50% of the seats in top public schools are reserved for minority and diversity candidates.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

Did you just say the US is the most diverse country in the world ??? I love Americans 😂

OK, you have a bunch of foreigners in NYC, and a high % of global elite in places like Boston and California, but appart from that it's mostly Mexicans/Latinos (I think 30% of population is Latino or some crazy number like that?)

In London in contrast you have a much more diverse pool of citizens, Asians, Europeans (UE is 27 countries just FYI), Latinos, Africans, etc. 

So sure NYC is a/the global city but saying that the US is the most diverse country in the world and London isn't diverse is quite funny. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

Btw I'm in a London office and my current co workers are Chinese, Greek, Russian, Indian and German  We probably have at least 15-20 nationalities in my office

Oct 4, 2021 - 8:13pm

Oh yes, diversity works wonders!  It gives me a much larger of pool of companies to short.  In the long run the superficial diversity will destroy once great companies as homogeneous group think takes over and everyone moves in lock step towards the cliff.

  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Oct 4, 2021 - 9:03pm

Us indian american dudes are truly fucked. We experience racism from a young age, are called terrorists, made fun of, yet we still are considered privileged in the eyes of banks and universities EVEN IN COMPARISON TO WHITE PEOPLE. Instead of going out and having fun in the summer, we are forced to do SAT/ACT prep, and then they penalize us for doing so (we are at a 3.4 point disadvantage compared to white people on the ACT when it comes to college, and over 7 points compared to AA's). 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 5, 2021 - 1:37am

Y'all have delicious food. I'm literally drooling over that delicious chicken tikka masala. I gotta come home and eat my mom's cold leftover meatloaf.

  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Oct 5, 2021 - 2:09am

On god bro. Just had butter chicken a few hours ago. Tasted fucking heavenly. If you're in NYC, I highly recommend Saar's Indian Cuisine. Best Indian restaurant in America for sure.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 10:55am

For better or worse, the regional office of the top MM I am going to doesn't hold diversity recruiting. The NY office is very diverse and I want to say close to 50% of the candidates come in through diversity recruiting. As a technically not-diverse male (Asian), definitely feel lucky that the fact that I was "overrepresented" didn't hold me back in recruiting at least one place.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 11:09am

I'm diversity but I come from a non-target. I never really understood why diversity doesn't focus on individuals from non-wealthy backgrounds. If you're an URM and go to a target like Harvard then there is no need for additional help. If you go to a top target and can't land a top role then you're just an idiot that didn't deserve a role to begin with. I have gone to diversity events where this kid went to Harvard and his parents are affluent doctors. Please explain to me how he deserves any more additional help?

As a diversity candidate, I get that it's very frustrating to white and Asian/Indian men. I just wish these companies actually focus on the source of the problem. Giving an IB job to a rich black/Hispanic kid does nothing to solve that.

Oct 5, 2021 - 12:26pm

This. I saw a lot of this type of "diversity" in b school as well. Hispanic, but father is an oligarch in South America. Thai, but family owns one of the largest businesses in their home country. Black, but parents are both very successful doctors. This doesn't really add much true diversity. 

Oct 5, 2021 - 11:35am

I came into this as a poor white (my parents are trash), from a state school. One of the most comically despicable demographics there is. Trust me, I know there is a desire to scrunch up your face and whine about how "things should be merit alone" and how the firms will never truly be diverse because x.y.z.

The fact is life isn't fair, diversity will help your candidacy right now, and these things are really not that big of a deal. I don't want to live in a world where things are 100% merit alone, and I doubt many others want to be in that world. Otherwise we would just have 100% chinese indians and jews grinding it out and we would sit there with our thumbs up our asses. A bitter fact of life that I have had to swallow is that even though I consider myself pretty sharp and crafty and I overcame tremendous odds due to my upbringing I would be outperformed in a second by the masses in China and India when it comes to intellectual capacities alone. Despite what anyone wants to believe, I am 100% convinced that diversity is crucial for me as a white guy because diversity puts it into the lexicon of trying to evaluate the "intangibles", and saving a space for anyone who may be left out. What I lack in computing power, I make up for in "fit" largely because of the consideration of intangibles. 

Other reasons I think diversity is important:

  • Diversity, at least on its face, is at least something new. I find that pretty cool, its not like this job is ever gonna be merit based, so whether its some white bread brett from CT who went to an ivy, or some nigerian millionaires kid who went to an ivy I would pick the nigerian simply because its new and a change from the past.
  • Diversity is also meant to reflect the changing world we are living in, if we are in client facing roles it turns out that is pretty important if the wealth of the world is increasingly diversified and international, it makes sense to have a staff that reflects that change.
  • Diversity also means staff that have encountered different sets of problems; I was poor so I had a lot of problems that are unfamiliar to many of my colleagues, but the rich kid from nigeria has encountered many problems I have never encountered. Same thing for the asian girl, etc. 
  • If you make it through the interviews, you can probably do the job. This is the biggest takeaway IMO, a lot of times a 3.5 athlete from dartmouth outperforms a 4.0 aspie from MIT, interviews are meant to establish a base level of confidence but after that it is a crap shoot, so there is not real reason not to pursue some form of diversity as long as we are confident they can complete the job which admittedly is hard but doesn't require a deep reservoir of genius. 
  • Firms focusing on low income, rather than race is a red herring. Believe me, I asked this question a lot since my family was below the poverty line. #1, you can't see who was low income and who wasn't growing up, so it has no meaningful marketability, #2 finding low income applicants would be even harder to fulfil than finding racially diverse applicants (thats already hard), #3 there are improper ways to really count who is low income and not (it is not immediately noticeable and it is easy to manipulate for ex I was in the group at school that relied on large financial aid packages since we were "below the poverty line", several of my friends in this group were actually from very well off / wealthy families. The system is quite easy to manipulate. Focusing on race, despite its faults, is vastly preferable to focusing on income. 
  • This last one is a matter of personal opinion but I just prefer minorities to white people most of the time. A lot of white people are really annoying quite frankly, they get to hung up on super conservative or super liberal thinking, they live in their bubbles and they guard what they view as god-given rightfully theirs with the passion of the inquisition. I find minorities much more grounded and approachable and living in the real world, but that might just be because I grew up as poor white trash. 

So at a risk of being called a card carrying libtard I would ask all those that complain about diversity "do you really want to live in a world that is 100% merit alone"? I personally think that world sounds horrible and runs contrary to every advantage our ancestors in the western world have attempted to build for ourselves. 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

Bro your post is way too long to be read in full, however if you think people shouldn't be selected based on merit, if you don't like meritocracy, you're wrong. 

If a bunch of Indians are better than me in all criteria, then fair. 

Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

Sorry for lenth -  put shortly why do you want a pure meritocracy and do you believe you would have prospered in that system? 

Oct 5, 2021 - 1:39pm

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  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
Oct 5, 2021 - 3:24pm

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 4:37pm

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