Note: The ideas in this article and on this website are completely my own. I welcome any and all comments, critiques, contributions or corrections (wow that’s four c’s) that may be triggered while reading.
This week has been rather stressful for me.
Not because of midterms (well, only partly), or the multiple projects and problem sets due, but because of the stress in finding something to do over summer. Job application after job application, my fingers have been tuned to fill out forms like playing scales on a piano.
Before pressing that “Submit” button, all companies ask me for three things: 1) gender US, 2) identity as a Disabled/Veteran and 3) race.
I select, Female, No, Asian.
Every time I press those two selections, I question myself: “What if I weren’t an Asian female? What if I were a white male?”
Diversity in the workplace is something so widely discussed and debated over today that I can’t say I have an opinion at all. There are thousands of individuals out there advocating for females, for non-Caucasian ethnical groups, for queer individuals or for whatever stereotype-breaking identity to have a place in the industry.
It confuses me, then, to think that I have a better chance at the same job than my white, Caucasian peer, whose skill sets are identical if not better than mine. All because of the fact that I am a female, or Asian. Are Asians even considered a minor ethnical group these days? Have the stereotypes changed?
Don’t get me wrong here.
There is a definite difference between expressing bias against a certain individual’s identity, thereby lowering their chances at an opportunity, and expressing favor towards another individual’s identity.
Diversity in an environment is something I would definitely want to have, for the reasons that I am exposed to a setting that calls for an open, curious mind. Promoting homogeneity is not just morally wrong; it absolutely deteriorates a population’s ability to grow.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t make much sense to me that an individual should be rated higher, simply for the identity they possess that would add to a diverse setting.
So if I get into a program that my obviously-equally-smart-or-more-but-white-friend Bob doesn’t, am I supposed to feel qualified? or am I supposed to feel diverse?
2 thoughts on “Feeling Diverse”
I think it’s important to note that such hiring policies are not/should not be only to create more diverse workplaces in the present… they’re there to correct for very real structural inequalities (past and present). That being said, implementation often sucks…
As someone who recently went through the college admissions process too, I was under the impression that being Asian doesn’t really give one an advantage over being White (at least compared to other “minorities”). In fact, as a halfie, when given a choice to state whether I am White or Asian, I often say that I am White to avoid the intense competition amongst other Asian applicants. I’m feeling real “diverse.”