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Is Your Team Not Diverse Enough? This Could Be Why. Too many companies focus on quickly filling a position with a candidate who can do the job, or subconsciously hire people who reflect the makeup of the team

By Adam Bornstein

This story appears in the July 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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Let's get the legal part out of the way: In general, you can't hire a woman just because she's a she. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination based on religion, sex, age, national origin and race. And while the Bona Fide Occupational Qualification carves out exceptions to that rule, an employer must prove that hiring based on age or sex is essential to the success of the business -- which is unlikely. Meaning? Choosing someone because you want to check a box is not a sound defense.

Related: The 3 Most Common -- and Costly -- Hiring Mistakes

The real question is why your current team lacks diversity. Usually it's the result of impatience, implicit bias or a lack of planning. Too many companies focus on quickly filling a position with a candidate who can do the job, or subconsciously hire people who reflect the makeup of the team. They don't spend the time to ensure that their search-and-recruitment network reaches the very best people for the job. That's a real problem. You could have the greatest job opportunity in the world, but if you don't have a pipeline in place that leads to the people who will help you best, your process is flawed. (You're not the only one. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the tech industry has, on average, only half as many minority workers and three-quarters as many women as the overall job market.)

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