The minority question


Once, when I was filling out an application for an IT position, I came across a box at the bottom of the page labeled “please check here if you are one of the following minority groups: Person with disability, Native status, Ethnic status, Woman.” I walked out. #MFIF



16 Responses to “The minority question”

  1. Tetsubo Says:

    I’ve heard conservative politicians refer to women as a ‘minority’ group. I don’t quite understand how half of the human population can be considered a ‘minority’. But then again, I’m a dirty, filthy liberal progressive.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Um, don’t you get an Equal Opportunities Monitoring form for every job you apply for? I certainly do. It’s optional, and apparently they don’t keep it with your application (I’m not thoroughly convinced by that – a friend was told it was company policy at a certain place to interview EVERYONE who said they had a disability)

  3. Lyris Says:

    They probably mean “Minority in this industry”. Not exactly progressive though.

  4. Crevan Says:

    Minority is used to refer to any group who do not hold a majority of power in a society.

    By the numbers women make up slightly more than half the population, but we don’t hold nearly as much power as men. Therefore we are “minorities”.

  5. Dude Says:

    I think women are a minority in IT jobs.

  6. Brianne Says:

    ….women are considered minorities. It’s not about numbers, it’s about power relationships. This whole blog demonstrates that women have less power in society than men — that’s what the term minority means. I don’t see any problem with the application, much less a reason for you to walk out. It wasn’t an insulting term, and it’s not contrary to being a “liberal progressive” as the above poster implies. Besides, it’s a positive thing that they collect that information, it’s a way to prove if there was bias in hiring.

  7. bella Says:

    women are academically considered minorities, as others are saying… his one kinda IS your fault, gender aside

  8. snobographer Says:

    I’m always leery of those kinds of questions when they’re job-related. I think they’re ostensibly there to promote diversity, but individual hiring managers are just as likely to shift applications from minorities and women to the bottom of their call-back pile.

  9. Dude Says:

    Brianne is right. Wikipedia offers a pretty broad definition of minorities, and it can include any class with less than average social, political, or economic power.
    Did the box actually say “please check here”? In that case it sounds voluntary.

    • snobographer Says:

      A lot of people who edit Wikipedia are white dudes who think they’re oppressed by affirmative action and rape shield laws.

      • Dude Says:

        Your’re implying that Wikipedia was wrong, in which case you’re implying that women aren’t a minority. They are. A sociology textbook or a Google search will indicate the same.

  10. Rayna Says:

    Everyone’s defending it on the basis of ‘women hold less power’ ‘women are minority in IT’ but that is NOT what the survey question conveys or how it is phrased. There are fewer women in IT but it they want to hire any, they should reconsider the offensive wording of that form.

    Also can they not consider a more nuanced approach? ‘Ethnic status’? Ridonkulous.

  11. Liza Says:

    Thank you, Brianne. You better worded what I wanted to say. I am shocked that self-proclaimed progressives don’t seem to realize that women are the most oppressed minority worldwide.

  12. Jaynie Says:

    Why would you walk out? I think that was the worse thing you could have done.

    Personally I would have ignored the question. Either the question is gender filtering in disguise or or they would consider hiring someone because they are female. Either way, if there was no other gender box on the form, then I would let my CV/resume speak for itsself.

    Their loss, and yours.

  13. SuzyT Says:

    No, it’s about women being a minority in IT. I am a woman in IT, and I have twice been offered (and I have accepted) jobs because I was female and they had to meet some random minority quota. While I sympathise with the majority of the rants on this blog, this is not one of them… Any woman who takes offence at that question won’t last long in IT I’m afraid

  14. Inez Says:

    I find the insinuation that I am part of some kind of an oppressed minority insulting.

    @Tetsubo, well I’m a dirty, filthy conservative Republican, and I’ve heard the “women are a minority” garbage from politicians on the Left as well as the Right.

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