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Thread: Complaining to EEOC

  1. #1

    Default Complaining to EEOC

    I have a strong reason to believe being discriminated on a job interview from how it was conducted. But I actually want to report it rather then sue. Besides the interview, when I was researching the company, I discovered that their big engineering team (70-80 people) where I applied is almost all white male, beyond any possible statistical explanation for the area (me being an ethnic female). But since they have enough females in "traditional" female positions and they have locations in other states and international locations, the disparity would be not so easy to discover when they submit the EEO form. I want to report it since it doesn't look right them hiring only white males for the engineering team. Would it be a good idea to submit an EEOC complaint so they investigate those practices?

    Another question, can I submit complaints about more then one company at the same time or it would it make those cases look weaker? I have another offender I can complain about; Texas is not a good place for professionals like me (and I'm moving out of here).
    Last edited by julia-labortalk; 02-26-2012 at 05:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    What are you trying to achieve by reporting it to the EEOC? Unless your case is very strong, the most you can expect is a right to sue letter. The EEOC may ask if you want to mediate with the company which either you or the company could decline.

  3. #3
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    I have a strong reason to believe being discriminated on a job interview from how it was conducted. But I actually want to report it rather then sue.

    If you want to pursue this, then you HAVE to report it (to the EEOC) before you can sue. You must have a "right to sue" letter from the EEOC (or your State's equal rights division) before you can take legal action. (You don't have to sue however.)

    Besides the interview, when I was researching the company, I discovered that their big engineering team (70-80 people) where I applied is almost all white male, beyond any possible statistical explanation for the area (me being an ethnic female)

    I've worked in companies with large engineering staffs who happened to all be white males (and we tried mightly to locate and hire qualified female engineers with no success.) This is not evidence of discrimination - unless you have access to their applicant pool and can demonstrate that they passed over qualified female applicants.

    But since they have enough females in "traditional" female positions and they have locations in other states and international locations, the disparity would be not so easy to discover when they submit the EEO form.

    I take it you've never actually seen an EEO-1 report. An employer doesn't just send in the number of male and female employees. The report requires employers to list number of employees by job category, ethnicity and gender. (Now whether anyone on the receiving end actually looks at those reports is another matter...)

    Another question, can I submit complaints about more then one company at the same time or it would it make those cases look weaker? I have another offender I can complain about;

    You need to file separate complaints.

    I have no idea whether you've been discriminated against because of your gender. All I can tell you is that having worked with a number of companies with sizeable design, manufacturing, and industrial engineering departments we would have loved to have hired qualified and experienced female engineers but were unable to unearth any in our candidate pool. I'm quite certain my employers weren't the only ones interested in doing so either.

    Before you jump to the conclusion that your gender is the issue, you may want to do some reflection to determine if there's anything in your experience or educational background that's the issue or something in how you present yourself in an interview.

  4. #4
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    You would have to prove that there are very few female engineers being hired only because they are female. That might be hard to prove.
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    I can tell you that we would love to have more female and minority engineers. However, they tend to get snapped up quickly and at higher wages than we can afford since a lot of businesses want them.
    Good luck to you in your job search.
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
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    It sounds like you are asking if there is a way to report various companies you suspect aren't as diverse as they should be without actually filing a claim yourself. There is not. Unless you yourself have been discriminated against and wish to file a complaint on that basis you are out of luck. The EEOC does not have the time nor resources to go on a fishing expedition based on a general allegation.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    when I was researching the company, I discovered that their big engineering team (70-80 people) where I applied is almost all white male, beyond any possible statistical explanation for the area (me being an ethnic female).

    It was not clear from your post - have you, as an ethnic female, been discriminated against for a position on the mostly white male engineering team? Or were you interviewing for a role on a different team?

    If you are an ethnic female in engineering, then you already know that there are very few minorities graduating with engineering degrees. But if you were going for a marketing role or an accounting job, then you may be completely unaware of the diversity numbers for college students graduating with engineering degrees. Do some homework on the general population in your area, as well as the local universities that may have engineering programs, and I think that might actually answer your main question. There are significantly fewer minorities graduating with engineering degrees, much lower than even the percentage of minorities in the college population. You might also consider that while college graduates are far more willing to move for work, the engineering field is truly suffering from the effects of the economy. For any openings, there are plenty of highly qualified candidates looking for work.

    See here for an outstanding report on diversity in engineering, prepared recently by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering - specifically, the graph at the bottom of page 14 for data that pertains directly to your question:

    http://www.nacme.org/user/docs/NACME...archReport.pdf

  8. #8

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    “I have a strong reason to believe being discriminated on a job interview from how it was conducted.” OP, what was the “strong reason”? If you have reason to believe the employer hired a white applicant and/or a male applicant who possessed objectively lesser credentials than you, then you may have grounds for successfully alleging race and/or gender discrimination. If the interviewer said or did something untoward in the interview, you may have a basis for challenging such comment or conduct under the federal anti-discrimination laws.

    However, if your “strong reason” is only the disparity in the racial and gender makeup of the prospective employer’s workforce, this disparity alone would not appear to support your potential disparate treatment claim.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgana View Post
    I can tell you that we would love to have more female and minority engineers. However, they tend to get snapped up quickly and at higher wages than we can afford since a lot of businesses want them.
    Well, I would ask a question - do you personally collect resumes and closely follow the process of hiring of those female and minority engineers, to know those facts?

    My own experience, I'm passed on quicker then people in the company notice I ever applied. It's not a problem of lack of minority engineers, but a problem of their invisibility. And yes, businesses usually want them, but individual decision makers don't. And from my experience, the more homogeneous the team, the better chance I'm never invited to visit the company. Scenarios: 1. they "lose" me in the process, I'm told they contact me later but they never do 2. endless phone screenings, 40-60 minutes long each - I had 3 phone screenings for a company across the street, but they never invited me 3. I'm invited to the company, but talk only with one person and they don't show me around 4. Any excuse, like we're not hiring now, or make it so clear they don't want me so I withdraw myself. 5. I was even invited for an interview at Starbucks at one point... I very rarely get rejections such they selected somebody else.

    And, btw, I have skills highly in demand. Sometimes, the impression is, they pass on me because they perceive it safe, as they think "she will easily get a job with somebody else". Then what? The company is told I got snapped up by another business?

    Among my friends and acquaintances, typical white females have easier times. Juniors have easier times. Racial/ethnic minority, transgender, older, not pretty, too pretty for Sr. Developer - very hard.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.J. Brown View Post

    If you are an ethnic female in engineering, then you already know that there are very few minorities graduating with engineering degrees.
    Was it from YOUR class?

    I'm a Software Developer. My Computer Science class had around 20-30% females and around 30-40% various minorities (why is it assumed that only AA and indigenous people are minorities? the rest is non-existent?), this was from 8-10 years ago, and it would be the work force to fill Sr Developer positions today. Another university close-by had the same statistics. CS department actually have dis-proportionally high numbers of Asian students, LOCAL ones, which is a cultural thing. So, I don't know why I should research something I know first hand. Yes, the enrollment for females dropped for the past years, but those would be a different pool of engineers, to fill more Junior roles.

    I don't know why media spreads rumors about lack of minority engineers, to make sure companies don't feel guilty? We don't hire minority engineers, not problem, general public knows they don't exist anyway.

    BTW why are you assuming I'm from marketing, even after I said I applied to the ENGINEERING TEAM and you said I'm a female IN ENGINEERING? Because I'm female??? This is called prejudice.
    Last edited by julia-labortalk; 03-19-2012 at 01:40 PM.

  11. #11

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    Another story... I will post it as a different topic.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by julia-labortalk View Post
    Well, I would ask a question - do you personally collect resumes and closely follow the process of hiring of those female and minority engineers, to know those facts?

    My own experience, I'm passed on quicker then people in the company notice I ever applied. It's not a problem of lack of minority engineers, but a problem of their invisibility. And yes, businesses usually want them, but individual decision makers don't. And from my experience, the more homogeneous the team, the better chance I'm never invited to visit the company. Scenarios: 1. they "lose" me in the process, I'm told they contact me later but they never do 2. endless phone screenings, 40-60 minutes long each - I had 3 phone screenings for a company across the street, but they never invited me 3. I'm invited to the company, but talk only with one person and they don't show me around 4. Any excuse, like we're not hiring now, or make it so clear they don't want me so I withdraw myself. 5. I was even invited for an interview at Starbucks at one point... I very rarely get rejections such they selected somebody else.

    .
    I have recruited and hired engineers. We always went with the best candidate regardless of ethnicity or gender or any other trait not job related.

    If you are getting lots of interviews, clearly they are interested but I would question whether you are presenting yourself in the best way possible in those interviews. No company is going to waste an hour interviewing someone they would never hire.

    In this economic climate if you are told they are not hiring, chances are they are not hiring. I would not waste time applying. As for only meeting with one person and not being taken on a tour, I'd be shocked if they did have you meet multiple people or show you around just for an interview. Maybe on a final interview but even then it is unusual to give a tour before orientation. Especially in your field where so much is proprietary, it is generally ill advised to allow non-employees to tour the facility. It also interupts those who are working.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElleMD View Post
    If you are getting lots of interviews, clearly they are interested but I would question whether you are presenting yourself in the best way possible in those interviews. No company is going to waste an hour interviewing someone they would never hire.
    So what you're saying, if I see a very homogeneous team in a diverse place, is it because females and minority applications don't present themselves in the best way?

    There is actually a whole bunch of software companies interviewing for hours candidates they are not going to hire. Google would be the most common example. But even with less aggressive interviewing, I often have an impression that many so called "technical" interviews are not to hire, but to find an excuse not to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ElleMD View Post
    In this economic climate if you are told they are not hiring, chances are they are not hiring.

    They say it, and then I see the job reposted to several places, and screaming they cannot find anybody... Or I see this person saying something on Twitter. For some types of positions, the economic climate is rather hot. Or they give me some excuse (we're busy doing some task), I check and it's not true. Many of the things said are traceable these days online.

    I might blame my particular technology; before specializing in it, I dealt with diverse companies that would hire the best talent. Now, all I see are white male teams for the hot new technology X (where the money goes), in the place where they used to have diverse teams for the old slow common technology Y. I don't really know, if it's the recession that trimmed out all diversity, or the new technologies. It was different back in 2008.
    Last edited by julia-labortalk; 03-19-2012 at 06:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julia-labortalk View Post
    BTW why are you assuming I'm from marketing, even after I said I applied to the ENGINEERING TEAM and you said I'm a female IN ENGINEERING? Because I'm female??? This is called prejudice.
    Nowhere in your original post did you make it abundantly clear that you applied to a role on the engineering team, just that you had applied at that company. I parsed your post a few times to figure it out. You blazed through with being interviewed to researching stats and reporting discriminatory practices. To be on the safe side, I responded with an answer for either situation. And I also specifically you asked for clarifications on the assumptions that I might be making from your post.

    You also did not mention an engineering specialty like software development in your post. I was raised by a mechanical engineer, and did not consider CS was what you might mean by "engineering." Clearly there a gigantic differences in those fields and my link will not be useful for you in the slightest.

    I am sorry I could not be more helpful. It is clear that you are facing difficulty in finding a role you want. If you are working with a headhunter, you might want to go through some role playing and ask for genuine feedback to improve your interviewing. I agree you are landing the contact but possibly not selling yourself that well. Best of luck to you.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.J. Brown View Post
    Nowhere in your original post did you make it abundantly clear that you applied to a role on the engineering team, just that you had applied at that company.
    From the original post - "I discovered that their big engineering team (70-80 people) where I applied...". Sorry for the lack of abundance. I'm curious, if I was male and my nick was Mike, would it require more abundant explanations?

    As a side note, it was a phone interview and I had a witness in the same room as me. He himself interviews Software Developers and says that I presented myself very impressively.
    Last edited by julia-labortalk; 03-20-2012 at 01:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julia-labortalk View Post
    ...I'm curious, if I was male and my nick was Mike, would it require more abundant explanations?
    Oh so now you're accusing us of discriminating against you?

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    I'm curious, if I was male and my nick was Mike, would it require more abundant explanations?

    I would venture to say that it would require even more abundant explanations, since gender discrimination against males is less common than against females.

    Julia, we're not the ones you have to convince. If you think you have a valid claim, report it to the EEOC. Theirs is the only opinion which counts in any case.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    If they never intended to hire someone they could just not interview them. MUCH simpler, less time concuming and less likely to end in a legal dispute. I don't care what industry you are talking about, no company has time to waste hours upon hours on interviewing people they have no intention of hiring. Interviewing is a royal pain in the neck. Have you ever worked as a recruiter? I'm not sure where you are getting your information but I assure you that no company is just interviewing people at random, especially those they have no interest in hiring.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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