The Star Trek Diversity Plan

I have a friend and sometime client who was recently puzzling over his diversity plan. He runs a big civil engineering firm.

He has to have a diversity plan on file with the Federal Department of Labor because he has more than 50 employees, and he’s an occasional government contractor.

He also loves Star Trek, to the point where he’s gone on two Star Trek -themed cruises

It was on one of these cruises that the meaning of diversity and community finally hit him, while watching some of the characters interact.

After all, if you’ve watched any episodes of Star Trek, what could be more diverse than the bunch of people operating on the Enterprise? Sure, they look odd, but they’re operating in the 25th century.

And, although it’s not generally mentioned in the Federal diversity plans, he’s managed to maintain a meritocracy retention and promotion plan. Civil engineers are expensive folks, and he doesn’t want to lose any.

And they have to function as a community, because they’re some light years from any physical contact with anyone.

My friend also has people working remotely on customers’ job sites, and at home, as a result of COVID. Parenthetically, his engineers working from home largely decided that they liked working from home, even after they could return to the office, so he had to invent control methods to ensure that their work got done. The various distances also distance mean that his civil engineers have to be pretty self-reliant, which gets into his recruiting and supervision.

We’re not sure what Star Trek would say about gender equity; maybe we’ll go watch some episodes this weekend and report.