My Office is too White

TheArtOfScience wrote:

Actuaries are the people who determine rates. They figure out the likelihood of a person being trampled by a herd of rampaging water-buffalo and then tell the insurer how much they should charge for rampaging water-buffalo insurance.

The math I need for my job doesn't get any more complicted than figuring out percentiles. Mostly it's just simple addition and subtraction.

By the way....can I interest you in rampaging water-buffalo insurance? YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO SAFE!!!

Heck, if only you sold lava insurance!

TheArtOfScience wrote:

So what you are saying is that as long as the institutional racism is the result of cronyism and nepotism then it isn't really racist!

I'm fairly certain I've seen this very thing said, unironically.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
TheArtOfScience wrote:

So what you are saying is that as long as the institutional racism is the result of cronyism and nepotism then it isn't really racist!

I'm fairly certain I've seen this very thing said, unironically.

Well, I'd say that's a fairly gray area isn't it?

Is it in the best interest of an employer to have employees that get along well together? I'd say that's a pretty clear yes. Most employers tend to post jobs internally or offer referral bonuses to employees who attract people they know (like their friends). If an employer is happy with your performance, rather than go through a riskier / lengthier hiring process it makes sense to put people submitted by those you already know at the front of the line. Being that many people tend to self-segregate then I find it unsurprising that your youthful college educated white kids tend to refer youthful college educated white kids. This doesn't really fall under the "institutional racism" umbrella at all.

I don't think anything is stopping TAoS from making referrals.

I should refer one of my acquaintances to a job where over the past several years I have seen every black employee either fired or quit under often dubous circumstances?

I understand the logic behind what you are saying, bandit, I really do. I believe that you believe what you are saying. It doesn't address HOW we got to this current situation though, only what the current situation is. How did we go through two dozen minority employees within a span of several years and replace them all with white people?

Sadly your arguments are the same arguments that are being used and have been used for years and years by employers to justify their hiring habits.

It doesn't seem like you are really looking for a conversation, TAoS, but to vent. You are really the only one out of all of us that knows the dynamics of your office.

I will say this - it is crazy to me that it is an all white office in an urban Detroit location.

Ulairi wrote:

You kind of come off as an old man trying to tell us darn kids to keep off your yard. I think you found your problem, people are referring their friends not some racial plot. My wife got her job because she went to the same high school as the hiring manager at the firm, who was also from taiwan. Relationships sometimes mean more than qualifications because most people can be trained to do most jobs, well enough.

The problem is that that type of behavior has turned what was once a diverse workplace into one that only has token handful of minorities in minor support or administrative positions. While friends getting other friends hired isn't necessarily racist it has resulted in an outcome where someone from the outside most likely would (and someone from the inside has) conclude that something's rotten in Denmark.

I'm not sure a judge or someone from the EEOC would look at the company and its hiring patterns and conclude that nothing discriminatory was going on.

He clarified throughout the discussion and provided some more detail, so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and posit that if it is going on, here's some proactive steps he can take.

Fair enough.

What is interesting about this is that I bet Bandit is not old enough to have experienced the whole "code words" thing. It was commonly done to avoid the appearance of discrimination while practicing that. My kneejerk is that when I hear that defended, it's hard for me to think that the person doing that might not know what it means. I'd be happy to realize we've come that far, but if this had happened in my area, my conclusion would be "yeah, they are discriminating".

Double post for equality!

Nepotism is when you hire people that are related to you, typically unqualified ones.

When you hire a friend, or a friend of a friend? That's called networking. That's how you get the really good people.

I can't make any reasonable comment about your situation, but hiring people that come recommended by other people in your workplace has nothing to do with racism. It's just trying to find the best possible people for a given position. In tech, at least, that's critically important; a genius-level techie is worth probably ten lesser bodies. They can often tackle and defeat problems that you simply cannot otherwise solve.

There are an enormous number of perfectly good reasons that an office would be filled with white people. It could also have a racist origin, either systemically or "naturally" as the collection of employees and hirers became more racist. I am disappointed that so many here are digging so deep arguing with TAOS (and in many cases implicitly attacking him). Yes maybe he's totally crazy and his reading of the character of his coworkers from overheard conversations, casual jokes, discussion of current events, and just the wealth of knowledge you gain about the people and company you work with over the course of two hundred thousand hours is all wrong and he works with upstanding caring people that donate to Muslim charities, volunteer to tutor inner-city black children, and cook food with their minority-spouses for the local community "Delicacies from around the Globe" potluck.

Or maybe, just maybe, there is still one single workplace in this tolerant, respectful nation that has a problem with minorities.

This could very well not be a case of overt racism, but a case of the management (people who hire employees) having a sub-conscious bias in their decision making. While still somewhat controversial, the Implicit Association Test has shown that a large percentage of people implicitly have a preference with associating positive connotations towards images of white people and associating negative connotations with images of black people.

I really don't see how flipping this situation to being a matter of "well, we just happened to hire only white people" rather than actual racism makes it any better. Just because there isn't an overt racist motive doesn't mean the result isn't problematic.

Yonder wrote:

I am disappointed that so many here are digging so deep arguing with TAOS (and in many cases implicitly attacking him). Yes maybe he's totally crazy and his reading of the character of his coworkers from overheard conversations, casual jokes, discussion of current events, and just the wealth of knowledge you gain about the people and company you work with over the course of two hundred thousand hours is all wrong and he works with upstanding caring people that donate to Muslim charities, volunteer to tutor inner-city black children, and cook food with their minority-spouses for the local community "Delicacies from around the Globe" potluck.

Or maybe, just maybe, there is still one single workplace in this tolerant, respectful nation that has a problem with minorities.

Well put.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

I really don't see how flipping this situation to being a matter of "well, we just happened to hire only white people" rather than actual racism makes it any better. Just because there isn't an overt racist motive doesn't mean the result isn't problematic.

Yonder wrote:

I am disappointed that so many here are digging so deep arguing with TAOS (and in many cases implicitly attacking him). Yes maybe he's totally crazy and his reading of the character of his coworkers from overheard conversations, casual jokes, discussion of current events, and just the wealth of knowledge you gain about the people and company you work with over the course of two hundred thousand hours is all wrong and he works with upstanding caring people that donate to Muslim charities, volunteer to tutor inner-city black children, and cook food with their minority-spouses for the local community "Delicacies from around the Globe" potluck.

Or maybe, just maybe, there is still one single workplace in this tolerant, respectful nation that has a problem with minorities.

Well put.

It's not any better, but how to change it for the better differs dramatically. If it was a conscious decision the solution is fairly simple. But if the person who does the hiring doesn't actually realize that they are favoring white candidates it muddles things up substantially.

Just some personal observation, when I first started going to interviews I'd go through the process and my follow-ups were sparse. After a little while I started wearing glasses to them. Just from a small minor change in my appearance the amount of offers and follow-up interviews sky-rocketed. Now granted it's not scientific, but people do associate glasses wearing people with intelligence. From that point on I've worn glasses to every interview and presentation.

When people aren't aware of their leanings they can't correct them. With a subject as touchy as this I'm sure they would adamantly deny any favoritism towards white people. This is precisely why no one person should be given the responsibility to hire. It should be more of a committee decision. Hopefully a diverse one. Here in Japan when you go to an interview you actually sit across from usually 3-5 people who interview you at the same time. Hiring is much more of a communal process.

The drought is over!

My office hired a black person today!

Of course the black person is being hired to replace the black person who left and is going to be working in a support role.

So really they were just trading for a new black person I suppose. They annoyed the other one until she found another job and left.

Last 40 salaried positions to be filled= 0 minorities
First support staff role to be filled = they only interviewed black people as far as I can see.

Guess I was wrong about things.