Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Isn't a job posting specifically seeking minority applicants unfair?

Dear Diversity Diva: Not to beat a dead horse, but I strongly disagree with your last column. Are you saying that you would not be offended and turned off from applying for a job if it were advertised “we’re particularly seeking white applicants”? — Ticked from Two Weeks Ago
Dear Ticked: Subtlety doesn’t always translate well in print. So, I’ll say it more clearly: Companies that primarily want white employees don’t have to advertise it in their job postings. Minority job applicants can see it when they go to the job interview and fail to see diversity walking up and down the hallways.
If I along with other professional or working-class minorities stopped applying for jobs in businesses where we were the distinct or nonexistent minority, especially in management, then most of us would never have held a job.
Ticked, I would never presume to tell you or anyone else that they should not be offended by companies making an extra push to have minority job candidates. It’s your right to be offended at whatever strikes you as unfair.
But I reiterate that a job posting is nothing more than an advertisement — a recruitment device — to get as many qualified people to apply for a job as possible. Qualified is the key word. And you can’t get qualified diversity without a diverse pool to choose from in the first place.
The big mistake that most people make is assuming that if a company advertises specifically for diversity, it definitely will give the job to a minority. That’s not the case, and I have yet to meet any minority who thinks that color alone is a qualifying criteria.
By encouraging a wider selection process for individual jobs, though, over the course of time, a nondiverse company has a shot at changing. If you think there’s a better, less divisive way, make suggestions to your company or join organizations that address these issues.
I would love to see the day when race is not an issue, when corporate America naturally looks like the crews in the “Star Trek” shows. However, racial diversity in the workplace is still a hot button issue, with no perfect solutions devised yet.
And since, according to the U.S. Census, today’s racial minorities will become the majority by 2042, better solutions will just have to show up because we very well may have the same workplace challenges showing up in different skin tones.
Personally, I’m hoping for ”Star Trek.”

No comments: