Is discrimination ever okay?

Two facts about me:

  1. I work in HR
  2. I am a huge advocate of equality

I don’t think it is ever okay to discriminate. Working in HR, sometimes I get involved in recruitment and I am of the belief that the CVs should be reviewed with the same mindset, the interviews should be conducted in the same way, asking the same questions and ultimately the candidate that we offer the job to should be the one with the right skills for the role.

So why is it that the majority of management positions in the majority of companies are held by white males? The thing is, a lot of the time the white male will interview better… but we need to ask ourselves why that is. My thoughts: the white male has never been told he isn’t good enough. He has been told he can do anything and he has seen men like him succeed throughout his life. He is already 5 steps ahead of others as he hasn’t been fighting against discrimination and judgement his whole life. This is a massive generalisation but we do have to consider that the white male is arguably the least likely to be discriminated against.

A national representative sample of white men with jobs in science, technology, maths and engineering (or STEM) fields whether they thought their gender made it harder for them to succeed. 14% said yes, and of that 14% more than 1 in 10 said they had been affected by reverse discrimination as those of a different ethnicity or skin-colour are positively discriminated against in that they are more likely to get the job as companies are keen to diversify their workforce.

“White males are an undesirable classification currently in environments seeking the managed utopia of balance and ‘diversity.’” – White man, computer worker, 52

How to end this piece? I’m just thinking out loud really and don’t have a magical solution. Race, gender, equality, feminism… they are really tough topics that people avoid talking about but I think every tweet, chat, blog post and discussion on any of them will chip away at the barriers that we humans have built. We can and will conquer this battle – one day!



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