So taking out the random factors that got people to the juncture of the stage of CV submission, because if we consider all the variables of upbringing, access to education, role models, parents, siblings, friends, chance encounters etc because everything in the world is down to circumstance:
Anyone who was interviewed by me when I was hiring staff for the IT department for one of the big UK banks either got the job on the merit of their interview
or on the merit of their performance in the job - regardless of whether they were man, woman, black, white, gay, straight, Scottish, English, Irish, Indian, australian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Ukrainian or Belarussian.
I took a few risks on getting some people in the door who maybe needed a break, bringing them in on less wages with less responsibility and then either rewarding them or not renewing their contract depending on their performance and or attitude.
All completely on merit of the right person with either the right skills already or who showed the aptitude of being switched on enough to pick those skills up quickly.
And I promoted based on merit as well.
Bearing in mind my own subjectivity, this is pretty close to a meritocracy.
Compare this to the situation now in a similar corporation where they have quotas to meet and various diversity network and I’m surrounded by people who are ill equipped, do not posses the skills required and never will, and completely out their depth and tell me what is the fairest or best way to go about recruitment - when I recruited a team of high performers as diverse as you are going to get anywhere by common sense and merit, giving a lot of opportunities to folk who had been overlooked elsewhere over box ticking and artificial roads to diversity.
Sometimes we get to where we are by hard work, talent and determination.