NASA needs sharper diversity focus to boost representation, audit finds

Jan 21, 2020
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NASA is narrowing its number of potential competent staff as a direct consequence of focusing on the racial and gender make-up of the people they are hiring. Therefor competence at NASA will be lower in the future, with the increased risk of fatal disasters.

"Overall, the agency has 18,000 civil service employees, with 35% being women and 30% African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic or "multiethnic." ."

What is the corresponing numbers/percentages in the US population as a whole, and among the applicants?
How about native americans, jews, hindus, muslims and mormons? How about transexuals?

"But all of this work has not resulted in meaningful changes in group composition, the OIG said. "

What group composition would constitute as "meaningful"?

What would be considered a satisfactory (or "meaningful") level of diversity? Each minority group being represented on par with its share of the total US population, or some other metric, like for example compared to each groups share of total number of applicants to each position?

Is there a pre-determined percentage, which would have to be continually adjusted as each groups share of the US population changes in the future?
It's basically a "good idea" that has been turned into a bureaucratic process by a group that is insulated from the main priorities of NASA. As such, it somewhat undermines both the scientific priorities of NASA and the sociological effectiveness of showing participation by "minorities" - who may become seen as not as worthy if they are not hired in direct competition with all other candidates.

The real measure of "equality" should come from the evaluation of who actually applies and how well they measure-up to the hiring critieria. If society does not provide substantially equal preparation for applicants, it should not be up to NASA to "compensate" by hiring quotas of "minorities". The reason that quotas are applied by bureaurats is the excuse that NASA must be prejudiced against minorities in its hiring or it would already have a work force that exactly matches the composition of the overall society. That is a flawed assumption on many levels. First, NASA is not getting an applicant pool that is exactly matching the overall society. Second, there is no reason to expect all "minorities" to have the same level of desire to be NASA employees, much less astronauts. Humans are not "all the same", particularly with respect to the typical goals of men and women in their individual lives. It is not just a matter of "opportunity", it is a matter of individual desire. Would you ask a woman who decides to prioritize raising children to the best of her ability "What's wrong with you - why aren't you an astronaut?" That would be just as bad as asking a female astronaut "Why aren't you home raising children?"