Luke Sayers – 100% inclusive

We’re all different.

We’re all equal.

Only one of these statements can be correct.

If I differ from you in ability to sprint the 100m, let’s say it takes me 15 seconds whereas you can cross the line in 12, we’re not equal in our ability to run the 100m. We are different, diverse, perhaps.

Should I be disbarred from entering sprint competitions? Of course not.

Will I win one? Unlikely.

Consider Luke Sayers, replete with ribbon, CEO of PwC Australia, then;

What we’re trying to do at PwC is be 100% inclusive“.

Here at William of Ockham, we like precision of language. If we can agree on definition, we can start to sift through the noise to the truth.

So what might “inclusive” mean and, therefore, what would a totality (100%) of it look like?

Judging by this video and this statement on the corporate website, it means future partner admits will be 40% male, 40% female, 20% either male or female (cynically, that gives Luke an “out” to make it almost 60% male). It also means 20% of future partner admits will be from a “diverse cultural background“, rising to 30% in 2020.

What qualifies as a “diverse cultural background“? No definition is available. To repeat, without an agreement on definitions, we can’t find the truth. Is an ex-pat Harvard-educated Anglo-Saxon male called Bradley diverse enough for Australia, perhaps? What about a Parisian, educated at the Sorbonne? Tssk, those pesky definitions, eh?

There’s also a commitment to hiring people with disabilities, which was really the main focus of the video, but tellingly, no tangible metrics on that promise. Nothing about the ratio to be employed, nothing about their pay relative to their peers.

The chap in the video, Jeremy Kwok, has a vision disability. Given that a large component of the work of a corporate tax analyst and any other field of accountancy is analysis of financial data in spreadsheets, and that an ability to rapidly assess information on a screen is a foundational part of that work, how efficient is Jeremy compared with a hypothetical peer who has equal abilities in all other aspects? Would we expect them to be paid equally?

Does PwC pay Jeremy the same as his fellow graduates? We aren’t told.

Back to our original question. Perhaps being inclusive is to give a job to Jeremy, a person who, through no fault of his own, will never be able to glance at a spreadsheet and make an efficient analysis of the most appropriate course of action (which, as a client being billed by PwC by the minute, I’d desire) as quickly as a fully-sighted peer, but that job is paid at a lower rate?

What might 100% inclusive look (excuse the pun) like then? In the absence of definitions and metrics from PwC, one could be tempted by both the Strawman and the Slippery Slope fallacies here. For example, perhaps PwC are intending to offer jobs to every type of physical and mental disability such as those poor souls suffering in persistent vegetative state? Of course not. So is that being 99% inclusive then?

What of the 20% culturally diverse partners? Diverse from what, exactly? Being Australian? That should be a facile achievement given that 26% of the population in 2016 was born overseas. Again, for a firm that makes its revenue from counting numbers against defined rules, it is being very imprecise in its own backyard.

Bill’s Opinion

Luke Sayer is unable to articulate the concepts he is espousing in a way that most of the audience will understand. This might be for one of several reasons;

  1. The message is far too complicated for most people. In which case, why bother trying to explain it on a slickly-produced corporate video?
  2. He, and all of the corporate marketing team are incompetent and couldn’t distill the information into a precise message.
  3. It’s a flawed strategy that hasn’t been fully-thought through. The sentiment might be noble but the implementation requires far more introspection, analysis and a more honest assessment of what is feasible.


Occam’s Razor suggests option 3.

Poor old Luke. He’s confused feelings for facts and it’s made him feel warm and loved.

So, this song by his namesake is for him (replete with a chord progression plagarised from Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat).

When you’re right, you’re right about everything

Consider this article in the Sydney Morning Property Advertiser.

Peter Hannam points out that the people of Houston bear a greater responsibility than most for this particularly disaster (10 dead at the time of writing this) because Houston hosts the headquarters or significant operations of several major oil and gas companies.

At the risk of over-simplifying his sophisticated and nuanced point, the flow of logic goes thus;

– The climate is changing catastrophically

– This hurricane was mainly caused by this catastrophic change in climate

– Human activity (burning fossil fuel) is mainly responsible for the catastrophic change in climate

– Houston is a major centre for the production of fossil fuel

– Therefore, everyone in Houston deserves this (un)natural disaster, including the 10 dead people, presumably

One wonders whether Peter has realised that this is the environmentalist equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church loudly picketing funerals of fallen soldiers? Love the sinner, hate the sin, anyone?

Let’s look at the flow of logic again. We’ll ignore the first one as there are plenty of resources on the internet where we could debate away whether it’s true or not.

The second statement is easy to prove or disprove; the data from the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory of the United States can be found here. 1886 saw the most land-falling hurricanes, 1950 had the most major hurricanes.

Let’s leave aside the third statement for the same reason we avoided the first.

There’s little point debating whether or not Houston or Texas as a whole is or isn’t an oil and gas hub, just ask JR Ewing.

So, the last point; did everyone in Houston deserve this weather event? Of course not, there are many people living there who have never made their living from fossil fuels, including children, obviously.

In the meantime, one assumes that Peter has never benefited from anything manufactured from plastic, heated or cooled his home, worn nylon, taken an overseas holiday, driven a car or taken a taxi, etc. because he would obviously have to be considered as having the blood of 10 Houstonians on his hands, wouldn’t he?

Bill’s Opinion

Peter Hannam is an ambulance-chasing, virtue-signalling cunt who believes that his position on climate change justifies an extreme lack of human compassion.

See also Paul Ehrlich.