The previous posts are accurate. I do believe that corporations have to clearly identify the criteria for a position and ensure that each candidate has been screened on said standards. With this in mind, I think that organizations have to be conscious of representation issues in the workplace. It is my own opinion that a heterogeneous society should be reflected in organizations. I am not advocating any type of quota system, but it makes good business and public relations sense for an organization to make a conscious effort to see that there is not a crisis of representation within it. It is essential that companies are clear in their understanding of employment diversity and how this should be reflected in the work place setting. The task for the companies is clear in that they must seek to find the most qualified individual for a position and then ensure that there is not a crisis of representation in the workplace. I don't think both ends are mutually exclusive.
I think it all depends on what the goals of the corporation are. If they are hiring the best white males who will be the best at following orders and making the best of the bottom line for the company, then perhaps that is the best thing.
If the company wants to do something good and help people grow and in turn likely reap benefits they won't understand until after they are done, they might hire people that aren't the "best" candidates with the goal of helping them to grow and learn, etc.
But your question is also somewhat loaded, it would be better if you specified a little bit more clearly what kind of discussion you were looking for.
So you are asking if companies should hire the people who are best qualified even if that means they only hire white men? If so, I think that that is appropriate so long as they have objective criteria for hiring that are clearly relevant to the jobs.
What I mean by this is that I believe that the people who are best qualified should be hired. But I am not always sure that it is easy to tell who is truly the best qualified. For example, how do you determine who is best qualified to be a teacher? Is it the person with the experience? Is it the person who went to the best college? Is it the person who comes across best at the interview? How do you know?
So it is the same with businesses. If they have some clear way to determine who is best qualified and end up only hiring white males, fine. But if their criteria are not so great and they are hiring based on hunches and such, then I would worry if they end up hiring all white males.
I believe that corporations should hire individuals that are best suited for the position. I do not think that people should be solely hired based on ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, or gender for that matter. Every position has a list of qualifications and if an individual meets those qualifications then they should be considered for the position in question. Corporations have a bottom line and that is to make a profit. They should hire the best candidate and it should not matter what color their skin is or if they are a man or a woman.