“Rent-A-Minority is a revolutionary new service designed for those oh-shit moments where you’ve realized your award show, corporate brochure, conference panel is entirely composed of white men. For, like, the fifth year in a row. Suddenly you’re being called out on Twitter and you need to look not-racist and not-misogynist fast. Actually doing something meaningful to disrupt institutional inequality would be way too much work; so why not just Rent-A-Minority instead?
We have a minority for every occasion. Whether it’s a tech conference panel, an awards show, an advert, or a business meeting, we will collaborate to find the right minority for you. All of our minorities have been vetted to ensure they are not “too black” or “too Muslim” or “too much of a Feminist.” We know how awkward that can be. Each minority comes with bespoke pricing based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes current states of supply/demand and the Degree of Diversity (TM) intrinsic to the potential hire.”
— Arwa Mahdawi, a lesbian advertising partner of Palestinian-British descent who is also “founder, chairwoman, president, emperor, and chief minority officer” of the satirical Rent-A-Minority website. Since setting up the site, she has gotten over 91,000 visits, a few folks looking to actually rent a minority and around 500 applicants looking to rent themselves out.
Writing in The Guardian, Mahdawi said, “Rentaminority.com is a ridiculously superficial approach to a complex problem, but so is much of the ‘diversity industry.'” She mentions studies showing that superficial “diversity training” and token hires do little to change a company’s culture and can, in fact, end up reinforcing negative attitudes rather than dispelling them.
Thankfully, her site has an FAQ section that with sincere ideas on what companies can do to create real change for disabled, LGBT and employees of color.
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