Benchmark Men

Benchmark Men, that is, those who are white, Anglo-Celtic, heterosexual and able-bodied, have traditionally dominated masculinist institutions like the police force. As a result, it has come to be assumed that they must be the best people. Accordingly, decision makers persist in appointing and promoting those who look most like themselves. ‘It’s like looking in a mirror’, said one member of a recruitment panel when asked what image he held of the ‘best person’.[9] The essential subjectivity of determining who is the best person for the job has allowed the status quo to be perpetuated, institutionalised and normalised. It then becomes very difficult to change. As Rosabeth Moss Kanter has said of this phenomenon: ‘The more closed the circle, the more difficult it is for ‘outsiders’ to break in. Their very difficulty in entering may be taken as a sign of incompetence … ‘.[10]

This publication was quite interesting as it showed the downside of using Affirmative Action in Australia when you do not have a solid foundation.