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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The next time someone tells you that race doesn't matter.

And that affirmative action is really a form of 'reverse discrimination' against white people, point them to this study of how temp agencies treat similarly qualified black and white applicants. The Discrimination Research Center of the Impact Fund looked at agencies in LA and San Francisco and found that they favored white job applicants over black applicants with better qualification by ratios up to 4-to-1.

The case studies from the report are particularly revealing:

Case Study #1: The white tester is offered a more highly paid position sooner than the African American tester, who is offered a less well paid position.

Both testers were interviewed by the same recruiter at the agency. When the African American tester was interviewed, she was told that she did not need to take any of the computer skills tests because she was being placed in the vast pool of clerical job applicants. When the white tester was interviewed the following morning, the recruiter gave her computer skills tests in Word and Excel and assured the tester that she did not place people in jobs for less than $12 per hour. On the day of her interview, the white tester was informed of a $13 per hour job doing relevance testing for an internet search engine company for six weeks, and was told that the recruiter would mark her down as a candidate. She was offered this position eight days later. The African American tester was not offered this position, although she had called the agency on the same day that the white tester received her message regarding the assignment to let them know that she was available to work. Two weeks later, the African American tester was offered a temporary position with the possibility of permanent hire. This position paid 15% less ($11 per hour) and involved distributing mail and providing general office support.

Case Study #2: The white tester is offered a position without being interviewed.

Both testers emailed their resumes to the agency on the same day and received calls from the agency on the same day. The white tester was offered a position one day later without ever undergoing an in-person interview or taking any tests. By contrast, the African American tester underwent an interview and was asked to take a variety of computer skills tests. After more than a week, the African American tester was offered two positions. Although both testers were ultimately offered good positions, the agency was willing to bend its rules for the white tester in order to secure her a job not made available to the African American tester.

Case Study #3: The African American tester is never interviewed.

The testers emailed their resumes to the same agency on the same day. The African American tester called the agency on four separate occasions to follow up and try to schedule an interview. She was repeatedly told that a recruiter would contact her if her qualifications fit any of the positions they were staffing, and was finally told that she had not been contacted because she was not qualified for any of their assignments. The white tester was called the same day that her resume was received and was asked to come in for an interview. She was later offered a permanent position as a purchasing assistant for a cruise line which paid over $35,000 per year and included an annual free cruise.


Via NathanNewman.org.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:14 AM | Get permalink




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