Equity vs. Merit
Equity is the premise that people should be evaluated for a job or promotion based upon the inherent oppression level of their race, gender or sexuality. The idea being to make up for the historical repression of all non cis gendered white men, by choosing a minority for a job or promotion over someone who has been historically less repressed. While this was developed with the best of intentions, it does have some major philosophical and logistical problems. Namely that giving favor to a particular race or gender is the purest form of racism. And I'm not even talking about reverse racism, or anything to do with racism against white people in particular. The idea that a group of people can decide, based on a metric, that a certain race, gender or sexuality should have preference over others is essentially implementing the institutional racism issues that this country has had in the past, only with different groups of people. In the long term, the same issues we experienced in the past with race based laws will become apparent again.
The main question besides it's racists structure is “do you don't want to hire the most qualified person?”. That of course is responded with “that is a straw man argument. Of course the most qualified person should be hired. But historically, white men are preferred by companies, regardless if they're qualified.”
Great. If the problem is people not hiring the most qualified candidates. And you acknowledge qualifications are unrelated to your sex, race or gender. Isn't a transparent merit based hiring system the real answer?
A fully functioning transparent merit based system circumvents the entire issue of race, gender and sexuality, and looks entirely at the individual and their qualifications. It avoids a third party generalizing entire races and groups of people, and judges everyone based on their personal ability and achievements. The transition to a merit based system can be done in 2 easy steps.
Currently job applicants hands in resume, do an interview, and depending on the job may do some mock work for the employer. This current way of interviewing has many problems. Namely that it is largely based on an interview, which at its core is a personality test. If they don't like you, you're out. Even if you could technically have done the job better. A merit based system would have all personal data scrubbed from resumes. So the people scheduling interviews have idea they're with, outside of what is on their resume. This will eliminate any biases people have from certain types of names and parts of town. Next an employer actually test prospective applicants with hypothetical job scenarios, and weigh skill over educational background (in cases not requiring specific training such as doctors, lawyers etc.). I know this may seem counter intuitive, but think of how many job applications you've seen that just say ‘college degree required’, even though they don't care what your degree is in. For many, college is not a financial possibility. It does not mean they are less intelligent than their fellow college attendees, and if they can prove their skill level is just as high in a particular field, they shouldn't be penalized for not growing up with enough money to attend higher education. More extensive interview testing also eliminates the Bullshiters. You all know who I'm talking about. Those people that look great on paper, interview like a pro, but as soon as they get hired you realize they're completely useless at the job. An argument against this could be that business do not have the time or resources to interview prospective employees in more detail. My response is to ask them how much time and money they waste hiring people who end up being terrible, or not working out?
3rd party evaluation. Whether it be a local independent group, or federal level organization, all new hires and promotions need to be evaluated by people outside the company. If a company is shown to clearly not hire based on merit, they will receive a low Public Merit score. Which will indicate to other companies and prospective employees how reliable they are in their hiring process. These evaluations will also be transparent to the companies and applicants, so they can be assured everything was reviewed fairly. If a company disputes the findings, they can request a second audit, but if the same findings are found, that will be their permanent scope.
In conclusion. It is only fair that the most experienced and qualified person who applies for a job be first in line to receive the job, regardless of their physical attributes.