Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Do You Wish To Self Identify?
So I am back in America. The land where everyone has an equal opportunity to be great, right?! *chuckling to myself* Anyway the job search is in full swing and since I am fortunate to know EXACTLY what I want to do professionally I have been applying like crazy. However, recently I was having a conversation with the Close Confidant (CC) and he made mention that he would do everything he could to not disclose race while applying for a position. He went as far as suggesting that I may want to remove my picture from my professional site, not disclose my sorority, or any organization that may be race affiliated until I get my desired position. However, if I know the person reviewing my credentials is black then disclose away. I then made mention of these Equal Employment Opportunity surveys that I am often asked if I wish to fill out after I apply for a position. He exclaimed "HELL NO! Don't fill that out. It is a way to exclude you before you even get a chance!" I immediately thought it was his generational school of thinking. He then began to support his argument with these points. (This is based on the assumption that the majority of the people that are hiring are White.)
1. The age of the people hiring The CC explained that the age of many of these people looking to hire were probably around their 40's which meant that they may have been influenced by the Reagan era and there is a possibility that they share his sentiments about Affirmative Action.
2. The economy is bad therefore who are they going to look out for first? One another!
3. Many think if you are successful and black affirmative action got you there. This has been a heated debate that I have had with my peers in college as well with older relatives in my family. The CC's point is that many people of all ages think this way, therefore, this survey is another tool to use against you.
4. People are naturally bias Whether you are Black, White, Asian, Latino or whatever people may form opinions about you before even knowing you when it comes to employment. So why even give them a chance to discriminate against you by revealing your race. Let them call you for an interview first and then form an opinion about you.
Now the CC made it quite clear that he is NOT against affirmative action. But he believes that this survey can be used for good or bad so why even take the chance and fill it out. He thinks it can easily be used to exclude you. I still was not completely convinced about his reasoning so I turned to twitter to ask my peers. And surprisingly many of my peers of many different racial backgrounds responded in resounding agreement with the "Close Confidant".
I guess my question is how much weight does this survey actually hold in regards to me getting an interview and more importantly a JOB. And if you choose not to self identify, and don't have an overtly racially distinctive name, won't they piece together that you are "other" anyway.
Bups what are your thoughts? Do you wish to self identify?