August 6, 2010

Outrage, for Starters

Filed under: business,current affairs,politics — Erik Dobberkau @ 00:17

Germany’s Federal Department for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (a.k.a. the department for everything except young men, because they’re taken care of by the department of defense, a remainder of history) has started an initiative with 5 corporations in which, for one year, applicants will not reveal their names, age, nationality, marital status and religion. This pilot project is meant to qualify if this process leads to more equal employment opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination.

And while this project has not been launched yet, conservative lobbyists are already outraged and defending the status quo. “Enterprises need information about age and gender because they are crucial decision criteria.” Which is to say, when in doubt, they don’t employ women. Another quote: “If we don’t know who the candidate is, we would have to invite everyone for an interview.” Which means they don’t invite people whose names they can’t pronounce.

Both men (no surprise here) that have been quoted above represent a mindset where employers still a looking for replacable cogs at minimum cost. The irony is, they too would profit from an application process I posted one month ago. Other than that, the good old resumée still offers enough options to say no:

  • what kind of school did they go to?
  • extra-curricular activities
  • hobbies
  • languages spoken
  • university: who can afford to study in a state where students have to pay a semester fee?

All of these will be more important, but different than expected, because employers will try to extract as much additional, yet speculative, information from the chunks that are left. This initiative is surely well-meant, but it won’t change a lot because the old system remains in place.

More equal employment opportunity does not translate to more equal employment. Doing things by half doesn’t get them halfway done.

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