Do Employers Use Affirmative Action?

<p>So I have been applying to a bunch of co-ops and internships recently and on the last page of the online applications I pretty much always see some paragraph about this company being an "equal opportunity employer" or something. Then I am asked about my gender, race, ethnictiy, and veteran status.</p>

<p>Am I really hurting myself every time I say Male, White, Non-Hispanic, Not a veteran?</p>

<p>I mean, I realize I have to deal with AA in college along with all the special groupd and scholarships I can't apply for, but is still really that big of a problem when trying to find a job (or co-op)?</p>

<p>Big companies are under pressure to higher minorities, especially if they are getting big government contracts.</p>

<p>It has long been that way. When I applied to work at ATT 30 years ago, it was clear that they were very interested in the race and sex of their applicants.</p>

<p>There are, of course, pros and cons of such a policy.</p>

<p>Well I think applicants (for college or a job) should be chosen based on how qualified they are, nothing else. Makes sense to me</p>

<p>So do you think I should put "Choose not to answer" for all of these fields? Or just rock the white male in engineering tags</p>

<p>From what I heard, only companies that use it is one that gets government money to use it. A company could ask for them for office demographics. Wouldn't make sense to not put your gender since most likely will know by your name. But choosing not to answer wouldn't hurt you</p>

<p>Affirmative action does not mean quotas. An Equal Opportunity Employer could get sued if they hired a less qualified candidate because s/he is a minority or whatever.</p>

<p>Affirmative action usually means a company as a whole will set some targets - at each level (officer, manager, individual contributors, etc.) and department, so much % of employees should be minorities. Then the department would actively seek/recruit minority candidates where possible. Hiring time, all things being exactly equal (which rarely is the case), a minority may get hired if the dept/company is falling behind on their target numbers.</p>

<p>^that sounds like a quota</p>

<p>Responding to the gender, race, etc. question will not hurt you. It just may not help you if you don't answer and would qualify under AA.</p>

<p>Government contracts want companies to practice AA and have the data to prove it. So, at one time it was a big benefit. However, as AA has evened the opportunites in education to a great extent, the mix of AA candidates and non-AA candidates made for no advantage to be an AA candidate. In fact we were so over the government AA guidelines that it was emphasised to us to just pick the best candidate, regardless of AA status. The emphasis was needed as some managers still figured we needed more AA hires.</p>

<p>I do remember way back when I was first hired (I am not an AA candidate) that any AA hire was looked at as a AA pity case and not really qualified for the job. It was true in some cases. However, over time that distinction has completely gone away in the company I worked for. The hire the best candidate policy is working.</p>

<p>Brutally Honest:</p>

<p>You are not being brutally honest. You say in your first sentence that affirmative action is not a quota, but then in your second sentence what you basically describe IS a quota. It's a quota, but we don't like to call it a quota. So we call it a "goal". Just like a used car is no longer called "used". We now call it "pre-owned".</p>


<p>Even things in HPuck's post worried me</p>

<p>The way it works is </p>

<p>1) I hire the best candidate. Period.
2) HR and the company's diversity department are really happy when that person turns out to be a woman or a minority</p>

<p>All of the people who interview the candidate, including women and minorities in the group, know that AA never comes up in the meeting where we go over each other's interviews and discuss if the candidate should get the job. Everyone sees how difficult it is to get a job on our team from the inside, and that we really want the best people, period. Therefore, nobody feels marginalized and they all know that they got their own job because, at the time of their own hiring, they were the best candidate and went through the same screening.</p>

<p>Private employers are subject to federal and state statutes that prohibit them from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, veteran status, etc. When you hear an employer is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and every one of them has to be unless the employer can avoid a law because, for example, it is itself a religious order, you are hearing what every employer knows it has to say to comply with those statutes. However, that is not affirmative action because it is a statement of not discriminting instead of a statement that it favors a minority group. You get those questions on the job application because they have to ask them (you are not required to answer them). Nevertheless, many employers actively seek minorities. Also, when private companies perform government based contracts, e.g, construction companies that bid on state road or buidling projects, you get into a whole other realm of laws that includes minority set asides that are definitely affirmative action.</p>

<p>purpleduckman...basically, applying for jobs you will run into the same thing as you did applying to college. AA, finding a good "match", unequal pay, dishonest applicants, "legacies", and terms that sugarcoat the ugliness of it all......</p>

<p>Consider college applications your intro. </p>


<p>Some of them you will even have to take a test for. Drug test, that is.</p>

<p>I'm good on the drug test. </p>

<p>Bummed about the rest</p>

<p>I AM being brutally honest. Quota or not or whatever you like to call it, that is exactly the way it works, whether you like it or not. And whatever @ClassicRockerDad said is correct. The hiring manager has to rarely worry about AA; all they are asked to do is pick the best candidate available. Now it is for recruiters, HR and other company PR folks to find the candidates ....</p>

<p>Also, more companies do business/contracts with federal government than one would normally assume.</p>

<p>Yeah, white American males have a dickens of a time getting jobs in engineering.</p>

<p>Oh wait......</p>

<p>Actually, every employer out there could be total fanboys for affirmative action (presumably only for "under-represented minorities" and the Chinese, Indians, and Pakistanis can go screw themselves) but it wouldn't make much difference because there are so few black, American Indian, and non-white Hispanic engineering majors out there. The affirmative action process tends to make demand soar for such a scarce commodity and their price goes up.</p>

<p>Engineering is one of those fields that virtually requires a degree, but all of the affirmative action in the world doesn't seem to be making URMs significantly more interested in STEM careers, so without a source of degree-holding URMs these AA programs don't have much to do. IOW, they would have to set quotas pathetically low to have hopes of them being filled.</p>

<p>Hiring processes are generally much more opaque (to the applicant) and inconsistent than college admission processes.</p>

<p>Well my schools engineering program seems to have a lot of extra benefits for females and URMs if they apply and then get in.</p>

<p>When I thought I was gonna do NE I was at an ANS meeting and they were doing some required diversity, equality, everyone hold hands and sing a song workshop. One of the Sr. females kept talking about "bringing diversity to the department". What the hell? No one is telling women and URMs they can't be NEs, why do we need to stack the odds more in their favor? Its like my school would rather have 20 more unqualified URMs then qualified nonURMs</p>

<p>Just because your school is trying bring more diversity into its program, doesn't mean it is trying to fill some type of 'quota.' Maybe they are simply trying to draw in students who might not otherwise have heard of it. Unless you have sat on the admissions committee for a long time, how could you possibly conclude that they are admitting unqualified URMs over qualified non-URMs? Sick of this garbage on CC.</p>

<p>Never said they were doing that.</p>

<p>But I mean, its not like are engineering department says "Whites and Asians Only" or "Males Only". Its open to everyone. With special scholarships its even more accessible to URMs. What else could they do to "bring diversity to the department ".</p>

<p>There's a difference between aggressive marketing of the program to URMs and giving URMs preferential treatment in admissions/awards/etc. processes. I tend to think the former is great and that the latter is a morally objectionable practice for which future generations will (rightly) indict us.</p>