If you don’t believe that racism in the job market is real, then please read this article by Yolanda Spivey. Spivey, who was seeking work in the insurance industry, found that she wasn’t getting any job offers. But as an experiment, she changed her name to Bianca White, to see if employers would respond differently. You’ll be shocked and amazed by her phenomenal story.
Before I begin, let me quote the late, great, Booker T. Washington who said, “Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color.”For two years, I have been unemployed. In the beginning, I applied to more than three hundred open positions in the insurance industry—an industry that I’ve worked in for the previous ten years. Not one employer responded to my resume. So, I enrolled back into college to finish my degree. After completing school this past May, I resumed my search for employment and was quite shocked that I wasn’t getting a single response. I usually applied for positions advertised on the popular website Monster.com. I’d used it in the past and have been successful in obtaining jobs through it.
Two years ago, I noticed that Monster.com had added a “diversity questionnaire” to the site. This gives an applicant the opportunity to identify their sex and race to potential employers. Monster.com guarantees that this “option” will not jeopardize your chances of gaining employment. You must answer this questionnaire in order to apply to a posted position—it cannot be skipped. At times, I would mark off that I was a Black female, but then I thought, this might be hurting my chances of getting employed, so I started selecting the “decline to identify” option instead. That still had no effect on my getting a job. So I decided to try an experiment: I created a fake job applicant and called her Bianca White.
First, I created an email account and resume for Bianca. I kept the same employment history and educational background on her resume that was listed on my own. But I removed my home phone number, kept my listed cell phone number, and changed my cell phone greeting to say, “You have reached Bianca White. Please leave a message.” Then I created an online Monster.com account, listed Bianca as a White woman on the diversity questionnaire, and activated the account.
That very same day, I received a phone call. The next day, my phone line and Bianca’s email address, were packed with potential employers calling for an interview. I was stunned. More shocking was that some employers, mostly Caucasian-sounding women, were calling Bianca more than once, desperate to get an interview with her. All along, my real Monster.com account was open and active; but, despite having the same background as Bianca, I received no phone calls. Two jobs actually did email me and Bianca at the same time. But they were commission only sales positions. Potential positions offering a competitive salary and benefits all went to Bianca.
At the end of my little experiment, (which lasted a week), Bianca White had received nine phone calls—I received none. Bianca had received a total of seven emails, while I’d only received two, which again happen to have been the same emails Bianca received. Let me also point out that one of the emails that contacted Bianca for a job wanted her to relocate to a different state, all expenses paid, should she be willing to make that commitment. In the end, a total of twenty-four employers looked at Bianca’s resume while only ten looked at mines.
Is this a conspiracy, or what? I’m almost convinced that White Americans aren’t suffering from disparaging unemployment rates as their Black counterpart because all the jobs are being saved for other White people.
My little experiment certainly proved a few things. First, I learned that answering the diversity questionnaire on job sites such as Monster.com’s may work against minorities, as employers are judging whom they hire based on it. Second, I learned to suspect that resumes with ethnic names may go into the wastebasket and never see the light of day.
Other than being chronically out of work, I embarked on this little experiment because of a young woman I met while I was in school. She was a twenty-two-year-old Caucasian woman who, like myself, was about to graduate. She was so excited about a job she had just gotten with a well-known sporting franchise. She had no prior work experience and had applied for a clerical position, but was offered a higher post as an executive manager making close to six figures. I was curious to know how she’d been able to land such a position. She was candid in telling me that the human resource person who’d hired her just “liked” her and told her that she deserved to be in a higher position. The HR person was also Caucasian.
Another reason that pushed me to do this experiment is because of the media. There’s not a day that goes by in which I fail to see a news program about how tough the job market is. Recently, while I was watching a report on underemployed and underpaid Americans, I saw a middle aged White man complaining that he was making only $80,000 which was $30,000 less than what he was making before. I thought to myself that in this economy, many would feel they’d hit the jackpot if they made 80K a year.In conclusion, I would like to once again quote the late, great, Booker T. Washington when he said, “You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”
The more America continues to hold back great candidates based on race, the more our economy is going to stay in a rut. We all need each other to prosper, flourish, and to move ahead.
Please note: “everyone who works retail, admin, or labor” is pretty much everyone. I can’t remember the last time I worked somewhere without “security” cameras that monitored employees.
I’m having a good laugh right now because our associates just got collectively reprimanded for leaning on the counters during 8 hour shifts on their feet, because it isn’t “professional” looking. So apparently they can put up with a camera over their shoulder to make sure they do their jobs correctly, but a cop with a gun cant?
Anyone who handles cash for a living has a camera pointed at them at all times, e.g. cashiers, bank tellers, people who work in casinos. This is to prevent them from committing a crime while doing a job that would otherwise make committing that crime very easy.
Cops should wear body cameras and have dash cams on their cars for the same reason.
— Michael Rivero (via lapalomanegra, fucknobigbrother) (via femmewolfprince) (via navigatethestream) (via solidarityforever) (via mommapolitico) (via truth-has-a-liberal-bias) (via kogiopsis) (via yawniambored) (via aliaisqueen) (via caffeinatedriot) (via official-mens-frights-activist) (via rainforest-rusalki) (via commodifiedsouls)
Female executives who value diversity were thought to be less warm and competent, and people of color were also thought to be less competent. White men, on the other hand, were given increased marks for warmth and ability when they sought greater diversity.
The researchers also conducted an experiment to test these ideas,…When women advocated for other women, they were seen as colder, and when people of color advocated for people like them, they were seen as less competent. “People are perceived as selfish when they advocate for someone who looks like them, unless they’re a white man,” said David Hekman, one of the study’s authors.
Well shit, isn’t that convenient. I guess it’s up to the white man to save us from the white man.
If you take a young man and woman and they both tell a stranger that they work in the same restaurant, it’s very likely that they will assume that the woman is the waitress, and the young man a cook.
But I thought a woman’s place was in the kitchen? Not when she’s being paid for it. I can’t believe it took me this long to realize the implication of this. A woman’s place is one of servitude.
this fucking hit me like a fucking train
Here’s some food for thought while we’re in the midst of summer blockbuster season.
Someone very late last night (I apologize for not remembering who) posted a question asking why we hardly ever see practical effects in movies anymore. The effects in even the biggest, most expensive summer blockbusters are generally computer renderings, which, despite their sophistication, oftentimes just don’t look as good or seem as convincing as practical effects.
The short answer is: it’s cheaper.
Digital production, as the Variety article notes, has become a globalized business, which makes it particularly hard to organize workers. The nature of the work also makes it very easy for a studio to shop around for the cheapest rates. This has resulted in a race to the bottom in the industry, in which VFX work leaves countries with relatively stronger worker protections and higher wages to countries with lax labor laws and low wages. Predictably, this has led to worker exploitation. One former visual effects artist in India recounts,
At one studio, artists are asked to work without salary for at least four months, at which point the studio can ask them to leave if they didn’t find their performance “good” enough. At another studio, they reduced their staff in the 3D animation department from 150 people to a mere 5 people. One studio takes Rs 30,000 (approximately $550) as a deposit from artists and only returns to the artist (without interest) once they complete two years employment at the studio. [Note: An average MONTHLY salary might be Rs 7,500 ($138 month) so the deposit is equivalent to nearly 4 months salary.]
This situation isn’t just a result of technological advances and the ‘natural’ workings of the free market. David Sirota points out
That’s where governmental subsidies came along to distort the market. Violating the spirit, and the letter, of World Trade Organization regulations and U.S. domestic trade statutes, industrialized countries like Canada, Britain, Australia, Germany and New Zealand have started offering massive taxpayer-financed handouts to studios if the studios source their visual effects and post-production services in those nations. In British Columbia, for example, public subsidies pay up to 60 percent of the entire salary of visual effects workers. The United Kingdom and New Zealand have been following suit with recent efforts to further expand their own subsidies.
This never-ending taxpayer-funded bailout has grossly distorted the global market for visual effects, artificially deflating studios’ overall price for visual effects in the high-subsidy nations.
Things are quite dire. As Sirota notes, U.S. states are spending about $1.5 billion in subsidies fighting over the scraps of domestic visual production work that are left but these investments of taxpayer money aren’t generating significant revenue or local economic growth. Dozens of visual effects companies have gone out of business or are teetering on the edge. Artists at home can’t find work and artists overseas are being treated like indentured servants.
The Variety article assesses the crisis quite bluntly:
A harsh question has to be addressed: Would the studio tentpole business be viable if it couldn’t get vfx companies, states, nations and, yes, even artists, to subsidize the pictures either through tax policy, working for below cost or accepting poor compensation? In short, would tentpole production make financial sense if the studios couldn’t play all these people for saps? I’m not convinced it would.
You might think it’s odd that I’m writing so much about what is, relatively speaking, a rather small segment of the U.S. labor market. And I am not at all an expert in the movie business. But I do pay attention to labor issues and have noticed the same interlocking pattern of outsourcing (when possible) or casualization (when not), flagrant abuse of workers, and deeply misguided government policies—a pattern which always results in fewer good, full-time jobs, lower wages, and deepening inequality.
It’s not just blue collar factory workers or Walmart employees or fast food workers who are being underpaid and overworked and thereby forced to subsidize profits that largely go to shareholders and CEOs. It’s also well-educated, white collar workers in highly skilled fields.
Perhaps the comfortable, white collar folks who supported NAFTA and other neoliberal policies that have decimated U.S. manufacturing are finally realizing that no worker is insulated from these trends. It doesn’t matter how smart, educated, skilled or hardworking you are. If the bosses can figure out a way to rip you off, they will.
Independence from the Sexual Revolution (via medusasseveredhead)
Oooooh girl. Now that I live with a lesbian couple I’ve been wondering why the dishes situation feels soooo fucking different and this articulated it perfectly.
This is really well put, and it rings true in my own situation - I do all the cooking, cleaning and childcare, but if I fuck up with any of those things, in the eyes of general society, I don’t get the blame - she does, because they think it’s still fundamentally her responsibility, she gets the blame for delegating badly. People think I’m amazing for doing normal, everyday standard shit, and I never get criticised because they think it’s a miracle that I’m even doing it in the first place. If she was doing what I do people would think of her as just a run of the mill housewife, but for some reason it makes me exceptional. It’s bullshit.
My sister and her fiance are going through some shirt right now because he’s a man. Prior to them moving in together, he had been taking care of himself for years, doing laundry, cleaning, etc. Then she’s there and he’s suddenly become a stupid helpless baby who needs her explicit directives to do anything at all related to housework. The dude has a doctorate from an Ivy and he can’t figure out when to start dinner?
Civilization would crumble into foul-smelling, bedraggled, malnourished chaos if not for the unpaid care work of women.
Prison to Table: The Other Side of the Whole Foods Experience | Dissent Magazine
I haven’t shopped at Whole Foods for 11 years based on other issues I feel are scamming people who try to purchase from well-meaning companies. That and their stuff is overpriced for what it is. (via faboomama)
Capitalism and feminism are on a collision course, because capitalism depends on the unpaid care work of women in the family. One major analysis showed that the rate of American women’s labor force participation was slowing compared to the other OECD countries and identified the US’s failure to enact family-friendly labor policies as the chief culprit. Another important study found that the persistence of the gender pay gap was largely due to the lack of workplace flexibility in many sectors and occupations.
It is no accident that the societies ranked as having the most gender equality are the European social democracies, which tend to have the most economic equality, as well. It is also hardly coincidental that in America over the past twenty years, feminism has stalled while economic inequality has skyrocketed. Both feminism’s halt and inequality’s surge are connected to the rise of the neoliberal capitalist state, with its deregulated workplaces, its deep cuts in social services and its reliance on the unpaid labor of women to provide care.