Making fairness convenient

Modernity has caused us to care more about convenience than just about anything. We’ll trade privacy or agency or our ethical standards simply to save a few clicks.

That’s a shame. It’s nothing to be proud of. But it’s true. And so, if we want things to be more fair, it helps to make fairness more convenient. Here, for example, is an endless collection of stock photos from Christina Morillo. They’re free, they’re well done and they feature women of color and other under-represented groups. Suddenly, it’s a lot easier to find a photo that opens doors and sets a wider standard for what’s normal.

Or consider a company that moves its on-campus recruiting to a college with a more diverse student body. Or an orchestra that defaults to auditioning performers behind an opaque screen. Or a job interview process that uses projects instead of live performance in an unnatural setting. Or a library that uses ramps instead of steps…

The well-grooved pathways of habit often cause us to make bad long-term decisions. And often, people run out of energy, time or resolve to do what they know they ought to do, resorting to the easy thing or the practiced thing instead. We know we can do better, but in the meantime, making it more convenient to do work we’re proud of is a good place to start.

Fairness might not be more convenient in the short run, but diversity creates measurable value.

More in this episode of Akimbo.