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Old 03-04-2020, 01:00 PM
 
1,521 posts, read 1,621,867 times
Reputation: 674

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I am struggling with this issue.

I am a white male from an upper-middle class family and completely support and see the benefit in a diverse workforce. I have been in my career now for eight years and have had great experiences working within a diverse environment.

While I certainly have no biases and never feel as though someone is hired simply based off of sex, race, or religion, I cant help but feel a little concerned at my future career growth with an overwhelming focus on diversity.

In full disclosure, I have been passed up for an opportunity where I know from people close to the situation that I was passed up simply because of a lack of diversity. While I am optimistic that this is not the norm, it worries me that this will happen again.

All I am trying to say is that I do not want to be passed up for a job/ promotion that I am well qualified for and would be a good fit to the culture simply due to being a white male.

While I say this, I do not want to discount the struggles and biases women and minorities face in the workplace either. I realize that happens and agree that all forms are wrong.

What are any thoughts?
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Old 03-04-2020, 01:19 PM
 
6,890 posts, read 3,111,732 times
Reputation: 20873
Diversity is an admirable thing. However, I had my own run-in on this issue.

Several years ago, I landed a multi-million dollar, one-year contract with the DoD. They hired me because their previous contractor had totally dropped the ball.

My firm got to work. Six months later, not only did we deliver on the contract weeks ahead of time and several hundred thousand dollars under budget–and at a much higher quality level–but we also beat the Pentagon's performance target by 17%. In fact, the work made so much of a splash that our client's unit received a commendation from the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs.

The following year, I was literally packing my bag for Denver in order to start the next year's work when I got a call from my direct contact. Cease all work.

What happened? They were forced to award the work to a minority contractor, the same Aleut-owned firm that had dropped the ball the previous year. Never mind that I tattooed it on the work. Never mind that I completely overdelivered. Never mind that I had saved the Army hundreds of thousands in cash. Nope.

That contractor? To this day, it continues to do crappy work and a premium price. Every couple of years, my contact and his superiors keep trying to get my firm back in the door, but the post's contracting officer insists on a minority firm.
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Old 03-04-2020, 01:43 PM
 
1,521 posts, read 1,621,867 times
Reputation: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Diversity is an admirable thing. However, I had my own run-in on this issue.

Several years ago, I landed a multi-million dollar, one-year contract with the DoD. They hired me because their previous contractor had totally dropped the ball.

My firm got to work. Six months later, not only did we deliver on the contract weeks ahead of time and several hundred thousand dollars under budget–and at a much higher quality level–but we also beat the Pentagon's performance target by 17%. In fact, the work made so much of a splash that our client's unit received a commendation from the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs.

The following year, I was literally packing my bag for Denver in order to start the next year's work when I got a call from my direct contact. Cease all work.

What happened? They were forced to award the work to a minority contractor, the same Aleut-owned firm that had dropped the ball the previous year. Never mind that I tattooed it on the work. Never mind that I completely overdelivered. Never mind that I had saved the Army hundreds of thousands in cash. Nope.

That contractor? To this day, it continues to do crappy work and a premium price. Every couple of years, my contact and his superiors keep trying to get my firm back in the door, but the post's contracting officer insists on a minority firm.
This is a perfect example of where I am worried (also not sure what work you're in but as a tax payer think I would vote for you lol).

I think any firm should have a shot at contracts like that, and I applaud initiatives that do that. However, what am I supposed to do to grow within my career if diversity is the top priority despite my work, qualifications, or fit? As a white male, I will never win that promotion/job/contract.
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Old 03-04-2020, 03:14 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
32,335 posts, read 58,942,406 times
Reputation: 35363
It's possible that you have a legitimate reason to worry. I reached a dead end when after 17 years and 5 promotions my division manager told me flat out that he would not hire a white male over a female of his race. At the time only one person above was going to retire in the next few years, and someone in my same level was a female of his race. When it comes to contracts, yes, public agencies especially have programs with whole departments devoted to promoting minority and women owned business, and their rules filter down to affect the sub-contractors. This is not new, though, it's been going on for years. I remember in the 1990s when a lot of small "mom & pop" companies would place their daughter as an owner so with the wife it was 2/3 female owned.
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Old 03-10-2020, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
4,853 posts, read 2,182,142 times
Reputation: 7897
Yes, this is coming if it hasn't reached you yet. People don't realize that's it's not just whites that need to learn about the benefits of diversity. Once a department reaches a tipping point in a group, everyone else is at a disadvantage. It's not just race, but tribal locally. Sometimes they work the same. Much of my work is because loyal but incompetent people are not up to the mediocre challenges business must overcome, so they call in a consultant to do the job for them and get it simplified to a point where it can be handed over to the originals.

I like to think (hope) that it's a local phenomenon.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:16 PM
 
62 posts, read 16,160 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColaClemsonFan11 View Post
I am struggling with this issue.

I am a white male from an upper-middle class family and completely support and see the benefit in a diverse workforce. I have been in my career now for eight years and have had great experiences working within a diverse environment.

While I certainly have no biases and never feel as though someone is hired simply based off of sex, race, or religion, I cant help but feel a little concerned at my future career growth with an overwhelming focus on diversity.

In full disclosure, I have been passed up for an opportunity where I know from people close to the situation that I was passed up simply because of a lack of diversity. While I am optimistic that this is not the norm, it worries me that this will happen again.

All I am trying to say is that I do not want to be passed up for a job/ promotion that I am well qualified for and would be a good fit to the culture simply due to being a white male.

While I say this, I do not want to discount the struggles and biases women and minorities face in the workplace either. I realize that happens and agree that all forms are wrong.

What are any thoughts?
To the bolded: Well, if you actually believe all of this, then you've been hoisted by your own petard, and I have zero sympathy for you. Wake up, my friend.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Massapequa
390 posts, read 279,883 times
Reputation: 571
This is a legitimate concern for a white male in almost every type of employment these days. It's the new way of the world and I don't see it changing anytime soon. All you can do is outperform your peers to the point where your superiors have no choice, but to promote you. The tough part is that if you are routinely passed over without merit, there is virtually no recourse. There has never been a level playing field for many different reasons, but this is the current situation and you OP may be in the current disadvantaged group.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:48 AM
 
5,969 posts, read 1,761,770 times
Reputation: 10455
Let me post one personal anecdote. As with all such anecdotes, this doesn't prove or disprove much of anything, but it may shed some light.

I worked for a household name high tech company - a Fortune 50 large company. The engineering staffs were quite diverse - many ethnic Chinese and Indian engineers. Not many women - which reflects the lower graduation rate of women in fields such as solid state physics, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc. Ditto for African-Americans and Latinx.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission tends to look at the demographics of large companies and compare that to the demographics of the surrounding population. If the EEOC sees a significant shortfall in protected minorities - specifically blacks, latinx, women and sometimes adding in veterans and other protected classes, the EEOC can take that as evidence that the company's hiring practices - no matter how colorblind and genderblind they may seem - result in discrimination.

And the EEOC sues. And wins.

So larger employers look at their demographics, and internally at senior levels, asses how likely they are to be sued by the EEOC and, if so, how likely they are to lose.

The EEOC's objectives is to get employers to implement hiring practices that do not result in unbalanced work forces. They do this by threat. And they carry a very big stick.

There I was, attending the staff meeting of the General Counsel of the corporation during the Great Recession. A senior HR official was also in attendance. The HR official gave a presentation on the new corporate-wide hiring freeze implemented because of the Great Recession.

HR: "You may not under any circumstances hire anyone from outside the company. The corporation-wide hiring freeze is in effect until further notice due to the Recession."

Then one of the General Counsel's staff members who was Vice President, Corporate Secretary, and Deputy General Counsel spoke up:

Legal VP: "I have a special circumstance. As you know, my team serves the Board of Directors, and the Board has instructed me to hire a replacement for an SEC attorney who recently left the company."

HR: "Everyone pleads a special circumstance, and the answer is 'You many not under any circumstances hire anyone from outside the company. The corporation-wide hiring freeze is in effect until further notice.' "

The HR official continued, "The ONLY exception is for the hire of a Female or Affirmative Action candidate and only then with the personal signature of the VP of HR.' The only reason we might approve such a hire is we have a corporate commitment to improve our diversity numbers. "

Legal VP: "But the Board of Directors, including the Chairman of the Board, has instructed me to backfill this job right away to ensure we are in legal compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

HR: "You many not under any circumstances hire anyone from outside the company. The corporation-wide hiring freeze is in effect until further notice. The ONLY exception is for the hire of female and Affirmative Action candidate and only then with the personal signature of the VP of HR."

Legal VP: "What am I supposed to do? Place a help-wanted ad in the Cal Bar website saying "Senior SEC attorney wanted; no white males need apply?"

HR: "Don't be silly; you know that's against the law. You can advertise, you can interview, but you may not under any circumstances hire anyone from outside the company. The ONLY exception is for the hire of female and Affirmative Action candidate and only then with the personal signature of the VP of HR."

This went round-and-round for several iterations until the GC cut them off.
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:42 PM
 
4,776 posts, read 6,862,196 times
Reputation: 5560
The children bear the sins of their fathers. Yes it sucks and I fully understand but when society won't act right the government steps in. We are talking generations of being redlined and straight discrimination in society and the work force for minorities.

One day hopefully one day "We the people" will be a reality for all.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:00 PM
 
3,209 posts, read 4,505,036 times
Reputation: 2803
Women are taking over these days. I remember applying for a job and the interviewers (women) doing a group interview, totally ignored me. It was so obvious, the other applicants took notice. I just walked out.



The buzz is that you have to find a workplace that values your demographic. If you're a white male, you might want to move to a white city and interview for jobs that value males. Diversity is a real thing and we all have to get along to maintain our standard of living in the US.
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