Examine Yourself

Recent affirmative action court cases left me wondering about my own record in hiring. Frankly I’ve never given any thought to whether I am meeting a diversity quota or hiring in proportion to the population. It’s always been a ‘best person for the job’ situation for me. I am a product of the post civil rights movement and I don’t subscribe to racial, ethnic, or gender stereotypes. I figure it is worth pointing all of this out in advance because, as I write this, I’ve yet to list and tabulate my hiring’s over the years to see if my hiring record (in practice) is as colorblind as I would expect it to be.

I’ve held a few different management positions where I was directly responsible for hiring and firing. These days I consult so I’m not actively involved in hiring. A few words about the hiring I’ve done: 1) All of my hiring is for network engineering positions 2) Some hires were permanent and some were for long term government contracts. Since the pool of workers in the tech industry in the Washington DC area does not mirror the general population statistics it would not be unreasonable to expect that 50 hires might be of 50 males or have under and over represented minorities.

By my calculations I’ve probably directly hired about 50 people. So let’s go to the tale of the tape:

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African American: 10 (20%)
Indian/Pakistani: 4 (8%)
Asian: 2 (4%)
Hispanic: 0 (0%)
Disabled: 1 (2%)

Male: 66%
Female: 34%

So what is my assessment of my record? Obviously the percentage of Hispanic hires could be higher, but in all honesty I don’t recall ever even interviewing a Hispanic candidate. The gender discrepancy does not actually surprise me since going on memory of the interview I’ve conducted and resumes I’ve reviewed there’s probably a 3:1 male to female ratio in the tech workplace in the DC Metro area.

You may be inclined to give me high marks for African American hiring, but I would suggest that it is average at best for the DC Metro area, and a little above average for Northern Virginia. Overall I think that I was probably correct in my self-assessment that gender, race, and religion don’t enter into my hiring decisions, but objectively I can say there is always room for improvement.

I’m relieved to find that my hiring record is at least consistent with my beliefs. . I highly recommend this exercise if you are curious as to whether your deeds match your beliefs.

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