Is preferring to hire minorities discriminatory?

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j's photo

I pick minorities for another reason ... they usually had to work harder to get where they are now.

I am not really pro quota in commercial fields. I would however, on a superficial-skill level prefer a minority. In the end I test them anyway and if they don't perform we need to find a way to improve their performance or part ways.

So no, I would not pick a person purely on an ethical level, I would not discriminate them either. Same goes for people with disabilities. People in our field already have to be smart and a minority has a whole different system to fight against as well .... they are probably determined and I like devs with focus.

Besides ... I often like their food gg and they know where to get the good stuff ...

Diego Bernal's photo

I pick minorities for another reason ... they usually had to work harder to get where they are now.

There are studies around this topic and it has come up in interviews with important people in the technology and business world.

Here is Scott Belsky on the Tim Ferriss podcast talking about hiring people who have faced adversity:

On the adversity front, super quickly, Tristan Walker, who is an entrepreneur who started Walker Brands and has built a real business, he talks about how he had a tough upbringing. And he feels like one of the things that he really carried from his upbringing was courage. And he feels like he wanted to make that a true value of their company. And I asked him, “Why is that – it sounds nice, but what does that really mean?” And he said, “Only with courage can you practice the same values consistently.”

Diego Bernal's photo

I finally remembered the other great source regarding this topic. The TED Radio Hour episode Hidden Potential talks about this. Specifically, Regina Hartley's bit on Why We Shouldn't Overlook The "Scrapper" With The Atypical Resume. The talk is only about 10 minutes long and definitely worth a listen if you are interested in this topic. The TED Radio Hour episode does run an hour, but is also a good listen.

From the transcript of Hartley's talk:

I'll leave you with one final, valuable insight. Companies that are committed to diversity and inclusive practices tend to support Scrappers and outperform their peers. According to DiversityInc, a study of their top 50 companies for diversity outperformed the S&P 500 by 25 percent.