Many organizations, companies, and so on are committed to certain representational aims as regards the composition of their workforce. One motivation for such aims is the assumption that numerical underrepresentation of groups manifests discrimination against them. In this article, I articulate representational aims in a way that best captures this rationale. My main claim is that the achievement of such representational aims is reducible to the elimination of the effects of wrongful discrimination on individuals and that this very important concern is, in principle, compatible with the representation of various groups diverging widely from their share of the overall population. The discussion also shows that we should ensure that a preoccupation with groups' numbers in relation to the population as a whole does not lead us away from our real aim, for example because we are blinded to the effects of discrimination against numerically overrepresented groups, or overlook the innocently different ambitions of some numerically underrepresented groups. In relation to the latter point, I appeal to the fact that many luck egalitarians think justice should be ambition sensitive (but endowment insensitive). Also, the time-relative account of representational aims expounded shows that, and how, representational aims should accommodate the changing composition of populations over time.
Politics, Philosophy and Economics, 2008, Vol 7, Issue 2, p. 159-182