June 30, 2021

The Meritocracy Fallacy, with Sara Taylor

Episode 89:

The Meritocracy Fallacy

What You Will Learn:

  • How Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake, recently told Bloomberg that the company’s focus should be on “merit” rather than achieving diversity goals
  • How the scientific data shows us that an organization that has a diverse workforce paired with greater cultural competence performs better than their peers
  • Why the statement that the focus should be on “merit” over “diversity goals” is implicitly saying that white men are more capable than women and ethnic minorities
  • Sara defines the term “meritocracy” and explains why the meritocracy fallacy doesn’t stand up to logical scrutiny
  • How only 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Black/African American, demonstrating that white CEOs are overrepresented in the Fortune 500
  • Why the meritocracy fallacy is based on false assumptions and ignores systemic and individual biases employees face
  • Sara highlights key studies that demonstrate the very real problem of unconscious racial and gender biases in the hiring process
  • How a study proved that white men with criminal records were more likely to be hired than Black men without criminal records
  • Why the belief that you have to sacrifice merit to pursue diversity in the workplace is itself based on biases

Meritocracy Fallacy

About Sara Taylor

Sara Taylor earned a master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. She served as a leadership and diversity specialist at the University of Minnesota for five years and as director of diversity and inclusion for Ramsey County, Minnesota for three years.

Sara is the founder and president of deepSEE Consulting and has worked with companies as large as Coca-Cola, General Mills, 3M Company, AARP, and numerous others. She has a new book, “Filter Shift: How Effective People See the World,” that explores how our unconscious is actually making choices and decisions for us, all without our knowing — and how to change that.


How to Connect with Sara Taylor: