CVs, portfolios, jobs and the dead ends of casual thinking… 2. Equal opportunity I.

It could be an interesting post for some of you, because I try to show both sides (employer and employee), plus it will be definitely not politically correct.

I read in some of the job advertisements that ‘We are equal opportunity employer’.

Very funny, if we think about it.
First of all, in developed countries and democracies it is a must (enforced by the law).
So mentioning it in a job advertisement is unnecessary (although I can imagine a stupid law to force it to mention).
But I’m tolerant, so maybe they should put into the ads some additional info like these:
‘To get salary from us you have to be employed or contracted by us _and_ you have even to work!’
‘Successful candidate has to be able to breathe in the atmosphere of Earth’.

But over this funny redundancy I realized some interesting experiences:
Compared to the others, almost none of the employers who advertised with this ‘equal opportunity’ speech wrote any answer for my emails, what leads me to some interesting possible theories.

1. They really believe in equal opportunities, what means – in their mind  – that  they offer no opportunity to anyone and/or they act in a disrespectful way with everybody.
Well, it sounds equal:)

From employer side it used to happen when they already have the choosen person for the position, but the law enforces them to advertise publicly for candidates (of course it is just a theory and depends on local law).
But I have to say that it happens really often, so don’t be surprised if you fit all the needs of a job, but you only get the answer : ‘Thanks, but the position is not available anymore’:

Oh, silly me:)
Be surprised!
It means that that company showed at least a minimal respect for your efforts with sending a ‘Thanks, but not…’ email to you.

2. They do not offer equal opportunities for the candidates… …and this is the typical thing to happen.  


First of all, that computer in our head is a packing factory.
We put all the infos we get into little boxes with a ‘tag’, then put some of them into bigger boxes and so on.
Sometimes we rearrange these boxes, sometimes we throw them into the garbage, sometimes we make new selves for them.
We tie them to each other with ropes called ‘relations’.
If we are clever, we will be able to use differently colored ropes for emotional and rational relationships, but most of the time we are not that clever.
In practice it means that we will hire people easier if we have something in common.
That is true for the most of the employers, because it is true for almost everybody: we – as human beings – favor familiar things and we make emotional decisions.
This is a basic human behaviour.

Furthermore inequality is always hard-coded in a system where the real selection/rewarding methods are not completely transparent and rational.

For example, in the most of the developed countries the salaries are not public, so there could be really huge differences between payments for the same job in the same positions.
I read an article a few years ago, based on ‘efficiency statistics’ of the employees (I can’t remember for the exact data, but more or less  I remember for the ratios).
It was something like this:
The difference in efficiency varied between 100% to 1000% (100% was the minimum as an employee) for the same job.
Salaries varied between 100% and 300% for the same job.
What does it tell us?
For 10 times better performance you won’t get 10 times more money.
Where is the so-called equality?;)
I tell you: in the pocket of someone who is not you.
And another interesting thought:
If you are going for a job from the former example with 1000%, efficiency and 300% salary expectation ‘from  the street’, you don’t have too much chance to get the job.
Limits of casual thinking.

And what about gender issues?

We all know, that with the same skills a woman earns less than a man.
We also know that the most of the male employers agree with this, at least on subconscious level.
I think it is a shame.

Race? Nationality? Religion? The ‘look’?
That all matters!

Even if people say that it doesn’t.
Employers – generally speaking – like to get people from their own nation (pos: common working culture/background, neg: nationalism), their own race (pos: common working culture/background, neg: racism),
Everybody likes attractive people: they get jobs easier and they earn more compared to others statistically.
Different religions? No way. Who wants to see an animal sacrifice in the board room?;)

So the _real_ ‘equal opportunity employer’  is almost a myth, except of some really rare cases.
I saw too much bad examples, too much ‘rationalizing’.

– So finally you hired her as a secretary?
– Yep, she had the best skills.
– They had exactly the same skills as I heard from the HR.
– She showed more cooperative skills. 
– You mean she didn’t wear bras on the second interview.
– Not just that, don’t be so sexist. It is about teamwork. She is inquisitive. 
Even called me yesterday evening if she can come to my place to discuss some specific questions. 
She is extremely open-minded.

Typical story and shame on both sides.

Personally I like to work with pros, both as an employee or as an employer.
I don’t give a shit about gender, nationality, race or religion.
Not even in a positive way (positive discrimination, racial or gender quota is a shame in my opinion).
Just be good, try to be even better and leave the other aspects of your life at home.


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