* Palantir sued for not hiring enough Asians 
* Google sued for not turning over compensation data 
* Oracle sued for hiring too many Asians
While it's possible that discriminatory processes have happened at all these places, it seems these lawsuits can be targeted at whoever one wishes. It's always going to be possible to find data that indicates discrimination, unless companies hire in exact quotas (which would also be discriminatory really).
There already are off-the-record quotas. Who in management hasn't heard discussion at least eluding the the need for a diversity hire? Probably very few people at this point.
I believe a distinction must be made: Equality of opportunity is good. Equality of outcome will lead us to the world of Harrison Bergeron's.
Certainly not at a big corporation where there should be enough of an employee pool to have it at least somewhat reflect the general population of the region.
But then, when I listen to the stories women in tech (for example) tell, and they do tell a LOT of the same stories, it's clear we're pretty far from equality of opportunity.
And I won't even get into those experiments people've done with sending out identical resumes, some with "white"-sounding name, some with "black"-sounding names... guess who doesn't get called in for an interview.
So I just don't buy that most people even give a shit about equality of opportunity, even those who pay lip service to it. I think most people don't want to be challenged on anything that makes them the slightest bit uncomfortable (like having unconscious biases or structural racism pointed out).
That is a drastic oversimplification.
The employee pool can only hope to be reflective of the pool of those who seek employment at that company and are qualified.
Which can only hope to be reflective of the employee marketplace for that industry at large.
Which can only hope to be reflective of the pool of people who have the right education and experience.
Which can only hope to be reflective of the people who graduated with the appropriate degree for which they're hiring (in most cases).
Which can only hope to be reflective of the people who got accepted into those schools.
Which can only hope to be reflective of those who chose that education/career path to begin with.
Which can only hope to be reflective of the population that sought out things like math and science when in secondary school.
Which only then can only hope to be reflective of the general population.
At each step there is filtration. It's affected by people's upbringing, their role models, what advertising they were heavily exposed to as impressionable children, who their friends are, who their teachers were, whether computers were popular when they were going through school, the list goes on and on.
The problem of under and over-representation in tech is a real one, but pretending that companies just need to somehow make up for all of this filtration, at the very very end of a literal lifetime-sized pipeline, is folly. Outreach needs to happen much, much, much sooner than that. At the end of the day, companies are at the mercy of who's in their hiring pool.
I even had a chance to ask a well known SV entrepreneur/investor about what VCs look for, and he said one of the things is "people who look like him." I appreciated his honesty, but it certainly seems like there is a lot of talent that is ignored because people and companies are using poor hueristics.
As to why they do it? I'm guessing that they either don't know not to bring up race or they don't care about discriminating based on race because they probably won't have any consequences.
I've seen plenty of casual workplace sexism and racism in my life. It happens.
At my previous employer, there were some positions with salaries so low that the only people who applied were foreigners who were so desperate that they were willing to take it. White Americans (and American-born Indian Americans for that matter) with computer science degrees simply had more options than to take such a terrible role at such a terrible salary. It had nothing to do with the company discriminating.
None of what I've said has happened at large companies I've interviewed with like Google or Uber, but small startups definitely have some "interesting" practices.
Which I guess would be a question about race? in a way?
I wouldn't ask a white person who spoke swedish and had a very swedish name as I'd assume they are swedish by birth.
Race is orthogonal to nationality and citizenship. Especially in countries of immigrants like the US and Canada.
So if companies are rejecting someone that means as whole (read net), they are expecting more bang for the buck.
Unless your model accounts for such things, it's too simplified. Particularly when it comes to human factors. And if your model is that deficient, it's not really providing useful insights.
Modeling complex phenomena well is tough. But you need to have enough humility to understand when your toy model might be deceiving you.
If the shoe fits....
At least that's what I was told at the talk about diversity and inclusion during my orientation at one of those big tech companies.
Apparently it's because we benefited from being able to make quick judgments before civilized society was a thing.
If there is a strong shortage of supply, you can be sure a lot of people will get over their prejudice -- but in labor markets, there often tend to be more offer than demand, so companies can choose whoever they want, without hurting the business whatsoever.
However, asking in the interviews is unheard of, at least in shudder retail. And while outright denyig someone for their race isn't as common as you might think, people do instinctively like people who look like them, and they also have this bad habit of not questioning it when they like something...
I seem to be lucky in that I haven't directly seen any racist hiring policies. But, then again, I've only worked hourly retail jobs; for all I know, the higher you go, the less likely a hispanic man is to be hired. And it doesn't help that there's so many variables to control for--as other comments stated, it's filters all the way down. As an example ffrom the entertainment industry, I have never owned a computer powerful enough to handle both running a recently released game and recording footage of the gameplay, which means that my dreams of becoming a Youtube Star are rather limited. And don't even get me started on capture cards. The rich kid down the block can afford it because his parents buy it for him; my parents don't, and the reason for that could extend as far back as the lessons my grandmother learned when she had to work her way to the top of the Georgia Pacific packaging plant where she made her living.
False (as stated in a sibling comment)
> because race is always included in the job application
I have not once ever been asked my race. Perhaps because they'll be able to tell at the interview? But it's not "always included"
> and always under the same header as questions for, say, disabled or veteran status.
I've only ever been asked about disabled or veteran status after employment.
You're right, it's not just on some tech company to fix societal racism.
What I don't get is why people are always so goddamn defensive of companies and their hiring practices. "The problem lies elsewhere, don't blame the company!!"
I mean, jesus, the status quo does not need any defense. It's already winning by default.
It's because we've been in roles in companies like these, dealt with diversity and hiring policies that seemed ineffective, counter-intuitive, and bureaucratic, yet there still always seems to be this cloud over us that assumes we're all secretly just racist.
It feels like we already bend over backwards to try to hire diverse candidates and comply with policies that suggest / require that. I'm sure Google, Oracle, and Palantir certainly have them. Yet these lawsuits have these big bold headlines basically implying the companies' policies are racist based on (if you think other factors are much bigger causes) unreasonable assessments. When we see it happen to them, we know it can happen to us, and it's easy to get defensive.
Everyone is carrying around unconscious biases in them. It's built into being human, so bullshit if you're about to say you're somehow immune.
We're also all biased to think the status quo is the way things ought to be, so when we see a company that's mostly white folks hiring a few more minorities, suddenly MINORITIES ARE EVERYWHERE.
Look, the problem isn't that you or I have unconscious biases. That's normal. That's human.
The problem is that we insist we don't, we're doing everything right already, and there's nothing wrong. That's where the problem is. That's how this shitty status quo that has effectively locked minorities into a second-class life gets perpetuated.
> Everyone is carrying around unconscious biases in them. It's built into being human, so bullshit if you're about to say you're somehow immune.
> Look, the problem isn't that you or I have unconscious biases. That's normal. That's human.
Agreed, and I don't think I am (or anyone else is) immune.
> The problem is that we insist we don't, we're doing everything right already, and there's nothing wrong. That's where the problem is. That's how this shitty status quo that has effectively locked minorities into a second-class life gets perpetuated.
I'm not insisting we don't. My point is that it's easy to get defensive when it's implied that you're racist over and over again regardless of the truthfulness.
It's not even good for the people allegedly being discriminated against. When focus and resources are put on the wrong area (e.g. tech company employee racial proportions), it just frustrates those of us in the industry and ignores the actual reasons for the issue (mostly cultural). We could be spending that money and resources toward getting girls into tech at a young age, or getting more computers into inner-city schools. Something that might actually affect the hiring pool.
But we don't have that discussion because the lawsuits imply the problem is with tech companies. Whether it is or not isn't even a discussion because it appears to be rampant if you've never been in a hiring role in the tech industry. If you have, you know what the hiring pool looks like, and you know you (and other companies) are being held to an unreachable standard if you're expected to align with racial proportions that don't apply to tech.
Because the problem actually does lie elsewhere. Being a corporation is not evidence of guilt.
Maybe my defensiveness comes from the fact that I'm in a hiring position in one of these big companies, and I'm fully accustomed to how hard it is to find candidates outside the typical racial and gender mix you tend to see in tech.
Not that it isn't worth it to try, but I just think we should be careful about placing too much blame in any one place... because it's so easy to refute (since it's not 100% the company or hiring manager's fault) and then real subtleties can be lost in the discussion.
I guess because as people who are likely to be subject to those hiring practices, they like them as they currently are.
This is a weak assumption to base the rest of your chain on. It falsely posits that the company isn't in control of who seeks employment there. In reality, the company controls where and how it advertises job openings and how it markets itself towards potential employees. When a startup advertises a hackathon with incentives of "hot women to serve you beverages", they can't claim to be helpless victims of an applicant pool devoid of female engineers. And while most examples of encouraging or discouraging certain demographics aren't as blatant as this egregious-and-yet-actually-happened example, there are plenty of subtler but very strong ways companies discourage women and minorities from applying.
Unfortunately, in our political climate one side of this debate has people who can say, "it seems like" and that's it. "It seems like" [...] 'we have a huge problem of sexism and racism' and if you argue against that you're this evil monster, as you described:
>most people [don't] even give a shit about equality of opportunity, even those who pay lip service to it. I think most people don't want to be challenged on anything that makes them the slightest bit uncomfortable (like having unconscious biases or structural racism pointed out).
The fact is we already have things like state-sponsored racist entrance policies to our most prestigious educational programs. In law school, it can be several standard deviations worth of LSAT points-- that is a VERY big deal. Even pointing this out, though, means someone is going to flip this on its head and misconstrue it, calling me the evil monster you described.
As I said in another comment, you're never going to see equality of outcome. The NBA will never be dominated by people of Asian descent. Women will never be asking for equal "opportunity" working jobs in the north sea on offshore oil rigs. Women will always have longer lifespans and higher average IQs than men. Men will always have more statistical outliers existing in the "fat tails" of male distributions relative to distributions of women. People are different. It doesn't mean better, or worse. For example, I'm not that exceptionally good at maths, but my friend is -- he's not any better of a person than I, though, and no sane person would make that argument. There's nothing wrong with being different. Demanding that everyone be the same will end up with us in Harrison Bergeron's world, and in that long-run scenario everyone ends up losing except those who take joy in ruling over others.
I believe it important to ensure everyone has equal outcome with respect to human rights, civil rights, and human dignity. There is no good reason why we cannot provide everyone with these. I believe that's where attention should be focused, and we're getting off track by pretending everyone is the same and demanding that the only reason for anything else is that the NBA is racist against Asians! (or coding companies are racist/sexists against whomever it is that doesn't have coding jobs).
>The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a claim on behalf of five women against an oil drilling company in another state. According to the complaint, the women applied for jobs to work as floor hands on the oil rigs, but they were turned down. The women allegedly all had the proper qualifications to be able to perform the functions of the job.
>The women were allegedly told that females were not hired on the rig because it was populated by all men and that women would not fit into the company's "man camp" mentality. The women also claim they were turned down because they were too attractive. If they were hired, they were purportedly told they would be a distraction to the men, who would be unable to get their work done.
It's clear that institutional biases and societal biases exist, and that some of these biases may act as steering currents for certain people to go into certain careers. However, there always will be some cases of people who like to "steer against the current" and work in a field that's outside the society-traditional bias in one way or another (gender or otherwise).
A good goal, I think, is to ensure that merit is the chief qualification for employment. Statements such as (paraphrasing) "oil rigs are a man's club" and "pretty women would be a distraction" is way too sweeping -- lazy group collective thinking at its most absolute, playing on stereotypes of both women and men. Humans have a wide range of abilities and behaviors and it doesn't always divide neatly in binary form.
From a personal standpoint, I would call this biased group-think sort of hiring practices as far from optimal. If someone can do the job well, they should do it if they are good at it. I do know someone, for instance, who's a female welder. Apparently, only 5% of welders are women. Well, she's one of them and from all indications she's good at it. Luckily, the place she works at doesn't have a "welding is a MAN's job" sort of attitude.
(Note that this bias can also apply in reverse. Think of the current societal bias with men teaching elementary school, for instance.)
Now, whether or not government enforced action (eg, to what degree, and what tools, governments should use to challenge the bias) is a good thing or not, I think that's more of an open question. The truth is, in some cases, some people hold onto stereotype so heavily, that they will literally threaten people who challenge this "norm" with harassment and violence. Clearly in this sort of case, the government should be involved.
However, for something like standard hiring practices, I'm a little fuzzy as to how much government should dictate anti-discrimination policy, if any. I wouldn't mind seeing more data in this regard; at this point, I don't know how effective various tools have been at eliminating lazy hiring groupthink, or whether they aren't terribly effective at anything but increasing resentment.
I agree with you
>It's clear that institutional biases and societal biases exist, and that some of these biases may act as steering currents for certain people to go into certain careers.
We agree on that, too
>If someone can do the job well, they should do it if they are good at it. I do know someone, for instance, who's a female welder. Apparently, only 5% of welders are women. Well, she's one of them and from all indications she's good at it. Luckily, the place she works at doesn't have a "welding is a MAN's job" sort of attitude.
That's good. I would never want to work somewhere that had an attitude that "this is a man's job, only men can do it"
>Now, whether or not government enforced action (eg, to what degree, and what tools, governments should use to challenge the bias) is a good thing or not, I think that's more of an open question.
I agree with you there as well. Even though I wouldn't want to work for a company that refused to hire women due to some illogical bigotry, I don't think it's government's role to force results on to who companies can hire.
Look, we agree on almost everything, but I think you and others are missing my point because this is an emotionally sensitive topic for some people, and one that the media has also blown out of proportion. The idea that there are no differences between people is totally fraudulent. When are we going to sue the NBA for discriminating against Asians? What's the point if we don't? There are huge differences even between men and women. Serena and Venus Williams claimed they could beat any man in Tennis, and so they ended up playing a 203'rd ranked player "after he had a case of beer and a smoke," and neither could barely score a single point against him. There are differences between people and that's the way it is.
If any of these people arguing against this actually cared about human rights or civil liberties they'd have said so by now. What they really care about are their feelings. That's what this is about - that, and lawyers cashing in on new diversity laws.
Yeah, and girls prefer pink... How much of this is because of how women are brought up, believing that these are mens jobs, rather than by nature? Women do plenty of physically demanding jobs, just not generally these stereotypical "mens" jobs.
Hell, if you look at poorer countries, you see women doing all kinds of physically demanding stuff like carrying water for miles. Its not that they can't or won't do them when they have to, its that when they have a choice that they don't and I believe that's because from a young age and in media these things are portrayed as very un-womanly.
This means that even if preference for pink was purely by nurture (which I also consider unlikely), the data on toy preference strongly suggests that preference for certain jobs or activities is not purely nurture, and has at least some nature aspect.
Now, it is difficult to quantify how much exactly is the split between nature and nurture, one of the reasons being the fact that lots of what you would call nurture would never take place if a nature didn't provide people with preferences in the first place. However, blaming everything on "upbringing, culture and media" is certainly incongruent with reality.
>“War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking into the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”
― George Orwell, 1984
If people were really so equal, the NBA should be sued by Asians. There have been 2 (2!) women in history who have been able to dunk a basketball in a NCAA game. I could dunk a basketball in high school. Give me a break, the whole thing is ridiculously fraudulent. I would not want to work somewhere that had some bigoted, awful idea and attitude that a 'woman can not do a man's job,' I would never want to work somewhere like that -- but that's not the role of government to decide. We need people in government who are going to fight for civil liberties and human rights, people who will progress humanity off this planet and into the stars. People who will fight against corruption. Instead we get people who want to take advantage of people's feelings for their own profit or security.
Then why developers are mostly men?
And why there is more and more female football/soccer players?
It might be harder for females to get muscles, compared to men but it does not mean they do not want to do and can do physically demanding jobs.
Modern mining is done primarily by machines which are tended to by mechanics. Ever wonder why there are so few mining jobs these days? That would be automation improving the efficiency and taking away manual jobs.
Speaking of which, truck drivers... will be obsolete soon. Even so, driving is not a task that inherently favors upper body strength.
OK, so the physical argument holds no water. What's left? Prejudice and social expectations -- which is to, say a prevalent institutional bias.
Besides, by focusing 100% on this physical aspect you're nearly just attack a straw man argument and ignoring the substance of everything else. Not every person is exactly the same and it doesn't matter. Get over it.
Work under a hot engine bay for 8 hours: no, but I've worked outdoors carrying construction material during heat waves, and I've worked indoors in cold data centers.
Holding my hands over my head until pain develops: yup. I don't recommend it to anyone.
Used an angle grinder: no. I have used lots of other power tools. Should you trust me with one? Not until I'm trained on it.
Lifted 300lb pieces of granite: no. We have these things called wheels, you might have heard of them? Using wheels and levers and ropes and pulleys, I have moved much heavier things. I recommend using appropriate tools. Hoists? Cranes? Block-and-tackle?
"Women will never be asking for equal "opportunity" working jobs in the north sea on offshore oil rigs."
I will not be engaging you further.
OK, so convince me you're right. Ignoring your condescending, short-termpered, dismissive remark based on attacking some minutiae in what I said (that we can both agree doesn't change anything), we now have an example of one very American, money-making lawsuit, representing 5 people. Alright, so what substantial movement can you source to convince me that you are right that women are seeking equal representation working on oil rigs in the north sea? What about auto mechanics? Plubming? There's many entrepreneurial businesses such as those that require no hiring decision. Why are women so underrepresented there? The work is much less physically demanding or as dangerous as working on off shore oil rigs.
But if they win their case and help to integrate oil rigs, it seems the next 5 women to seek a job on an oil rig will be easier to find. Fields that are not diverse are less attractive to diversity candidates, but that doesn't mean that diversity candidates wouldn't be interested in working in a more integrated environment.
The joke is that everybody does that. Most people are just totally blind to their own side's issues.
Now watch as people begin commenting to say that their side isn't like that..,
Then why is it that on average they get paid less than men for the same job? Surely if they are inherently "smarter", they should be dominating the knowledge economy and earning more than men. The fact that they don't points to some greater opposing force that needs addressing.
Every single person should be given every opportunity as every other, but we shouldn't continue this state-forced results based on people's personal politics about how they believe the world works.
Why do we have issues with providing everyone with healthcare, clean water, and safety... We're bombing seven countries, funding jihadists in Syria, creating a surveillance police state. Some US cities have murder rates higher than any country in Africa or the Middle East. We can't provide everyone with housing, and we can't successfully protect our environment. Give me a break. This issue is not about human welfare, dignity or equality. This is about people's personal politics and lawyers finding a way to cash in on laws that may have been well intentioned but since gone out of control.
The social ladder and ranking is also attached to the same incentives. A mans ranking is (mostly) based on his ability to support a family. A womans ranking is (mostly) based on her ability to raise a family. As sad and depressing that is, the message it sends on a cultural level is that no one wants to be near a poor male or infertile female. On the flip side, women are not punished by society for not focusing on maximizing earning potentials, and men aren't punished by society for not focusing self care and longer lifespans.
Going even darker when looking at incentives for earning and lifespans, we can look at the link between low income for men and suicide. About a factor of about 1000% according to some studies when comparing high vs low income. Suicide is also the most common cause of death for men at ages 15-50. The negative impact from unemployment (and low income jobs) effects men more, and a natural conclusion would be that the incentives to avoid it is thus stronger.
So yeah, sure, if you look at the scenario in simple isolation, then you could argue that there is a "greater opposing force".
Does the CEO have the highest IQ in the company? Is the president the most intelligent person in the country?
There is no polite way to put it, but I would be surprised if among black applicants having a "black" name did not predict worse actual performance than having a "white" name. The same goes for white applicants with "white trash" names. If there are Asian equivalents, same for them.
I mean honestly imagine a resume that says: graduated from Yale 2011 with a BS in Computer Science. Worked for Qualcomm for 2 years before taking a job as a PM at Google. Currently looking for a new job to move back to the east coast to be nearer to their family.
And you're telling me you can predict this person's future job performance based on whether their last name is Park, Lewis, or Johnson?
So, even with equality of opportunity, there can be gross disparity of outcome over time.
The pursuit of happiness is still the best policy, though.
For instance, if we play the game 1000 times, heads might come up 505 times and tails might come up 495 times. Over time, the difference between the number of times tails comes up and head comes up will go to 0.
Therefore, over time, we'll both stay at $1 million.
That doesn't preclude arbitrarily-large variances in between that could add up to a Head/Tail difference > 10^6.
Palantir got sued for hiring Asians at a ratio of 20%. 4 out of 21 were Asians, this was too low given the size of the applicant pool.
What if they were actually the better candidates?
Bias in hiring may well reflect bias in talent.
But we don't have equality of education, equality of upbringing, etc. so it's natural that given the equality of opportunity we get unequal results.
There are pieces of the system that don't have equality of opportunity. People aren't born with the same amount of money or into the same social circles. There are actual racists in the world doing actually racist things. Different role models. Different cultures. Everyone already knows this.
You have to fix the causes, not the outcome. Mitigate poverty with a universal basic income. Punish overt racism. Change the culture so that black children want to be coders instead of basketball players.
You can't fix it at the end. Not only does it not work, because every qualified woman or minority that Oracle hires is just one less working for Apple or Microsoft and vice versa, it also isn't justice.
Because the ones who would get the coding jobs aren't the disadvantaged ones. The consequence of inequality manifests as working on the janitorial staff. You can't help those people by making a coder out of some already college-educated person who would otherwise have been a physicist or nurse or tax auditor. And not all of the people who are stuck cleaning toilets because society has been unfair to them are women or minorities.
The NBA is much smaller than entire industries: there are more CEOs than NBA players.
He's saying that within the Black community, there are fewer people who (for whatever reason) have the skills necessary to be a CRUD developer.
Reasons may include, but are not limited to:
- poverty and access to education
- cultural factors pertaining to the value of higher education
- cultural factors pertaining to the types of jobs that are valued (e.g.: perhaps Blacks take jobs that confer a certain status or that are seen as directly giving back to the community)
If this is true -- and I personally find it plausible -- then we would indeed expect blacks to be under-represented in software design.
tl;dr: Perhaps the bias in hiring is a reflection of a bias in competence. Perhaps Blacks are, on the whole, poorer candidates? If that's true, then the correct approach is to focus on education rather than punishing employers.
Whether it was intended or not, OP was dog-whistling the genetics argument, which I do not buy.
Again, no it wasn't, and even if it were it does not change the veracity of my (more nuanced) rendition.
For what it's worth - I do not disagree with your argument, but I do not think it adequately explains the situation.
OT: it's somewhat surreal for me to experience HN going all out for the status quo (regardless of subject). I just wanted to get that off my chest - carry on.
Discriminatory hiring practices are but one of many symptoms of the disease.
Is the social problem that the discriminated are pushed to 'over achieve' while the rest have no expectations placed on them and are more likely to fall into whatever work is available? I think this definitely holds true for the tech profession where for many of us the jobs appeared as extension to hobbies, not something we actually sat down to plan to do.
If we were pressured to go to school and get a good, well respected, job above all else – which I think we can say certain segments of the population are – the path into tech would have been far less obvious. Especially when you go back several years ago, before tech was 'cool', but even now doctor or lawyer sounds better than programmer.
If you incentivize sob stories about women in tech, you get sob stories about women in tech.
It seems to me the Dept of Labor is trying to solve a problem at the hiring level that exists at a much higher level, beyond the scope of any one company.
Additionally, in that context I'm not even convinced it's a problem in itself that needs solving via state intervention. Unless there is some abstract benefit to diversity of the people behind the code in software development that I'm not seeing. Other than the fact engineers make better money than other industries and it's in demand - but that should be a sufficient incentive by itself.
I agree the state should be acting at a much higher level to solve these problems. This could take the form of education incentives to get a more diverse workforce or do something about income inequality that prevents some demographics from pursuing certain career paths.
Anecdotally, a friend who was interviewing with Oracle was given a lowball offer by a Oracle recruiter of the same ethnicity and told that it was "a very good offer for a person like you". At the time I believed it was just a rogue interviewer, but it sounds like this may have been more widespread.
If I see a large software company located in an area where a lot of Asians reside and there aren't many Asians there? Then something funny is going on.
People have been trying to hammer that distinction for a long time. For certain people, it just doesn't "stick". They believe there is a boogey man, and by golly they will make sure to get the state to punish any scenario that hints to its existence.
If anything, I'd argue that they are creating a boogey man. E.g. You push an agenda that promotes certain groups or genders above actual merit, and pretty soon I'd argue that people will develop a subconscious bias against individuals in those groups. I.e. They will compensate and they will discriminate in order to fix the bias that they are seeing unfold in front of their eyes. And they will probably apply it to everyone, just like a stereotype.
Are you attempting to assert causation in the absence of correlation?
Suppose that for University X, the minimal SAT requirement for white applicants was 700/700, and for black applicants was 400/400.
Suppose that the SAT scores of all white students at X are uniformly distributed over (700-800/700-800), and those of the black students are uniformly distributed over (400-800/400-800).
Now randomly pick one white student, and one black student.
Which of them is likely to have the higher SAT score?
And which do you want performing heart surgery on your child?
It's a whole lot more "obvious" here in South Africa. There are actual quotas, rather than "score" enhancements and juggling like there is in America.
With the assumption that the "range" of ability is equal in both groups. The simple fact that you take a smaller quantity of one, rather than the other, implies that you're taking a different ability range of one group over the other.
So if you have 100 black, 100 white students, and both their group scores range using a normal distribution from 500-1000. But you enforce that only 10 whites can be taken, and 40 blacks should be taken. Then you're guaranteeing that only the "top" 10 of the white students get picked, while with the blacks the top 40 get picked. This means you're going down the distribution and selecting black individuals that have lower scores.
As for your question about which number drawn at random from two differently distributed populations would be higher on average - yes, in this hypothetical college that admits black students with SAT scores below the black population's average but only takes white students who are 1+ STD above the white population's average, I would expect the white students to have higher SAT scores.
What I would interrogate is why you seem to be defining the worthiness of students by their SAT scores, which most elite colleges now essentially disregard, since studies have shown that it correlates alarmingly well with parents' income.
I also don't understand why so many people, when discussing the merits of college or job applicants, are so focused on the exact point of application, to the point of refusing to consider earlier opportunities and environmental effects.
Wouldn't you consider a 500 SAT score from a low-income family's student more impressive than a 500 SAT score from a high-income family's student, based on the relative availability of SAT prep classes to the two students?
Shouldn't such contextual information be considered when evaluating candidates?
Wouldn't you say that the candidate from the less advantageous background who has achieved identical "on paper" results is more deserving of selection, considering what they must've overcome to achieve such results?
If the candidate from the less advantageous background is more deserving, why do studies find that, when presented with identical applicants, hirers will choose the one with the whiter name?  http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/mar/15/...
Secondly, many elite schools pride themselves on "need-blind" admissions, meaning they do not know the applicant's financial situation when deciding whether or not to admit him/her. This is to protect poor kids from being discriminated against (since they would need extra financial aid from the school), but it also means they can't give a leg-up to poor students.
Given that family income is highly correlated with SAT performance, it's pretty perverse that the best way for a poor student to gain admission into an elite university is to ace their SAT's and masquerade as a rich kid on their application.
Perhaps my use of SAT scores in particular was a mistake, but hopefully you came away with a better understanding of garanduss's original post.
The concept itself perpetuates the boogey man.
We see these lawsuits and each one subconsciously implies, "Yep, racism is still a big problem in the industry. Here's another big company being sued for it. It's a good thing we have the Dept of Labor watching out for stuff like this. Who knows what these companies would be getting away with without it."
But it's the lawsuit itself that makes you think that, regardless of how much actual racism in the industry plays into it. It's self-perpetuating.
Most of the problems I've seen with diversity hires being "less capable" has been because they've had to work with people who are poor communicators and can't get past the idea that not everyone has the same shared background they do.
That means your co-worker from Taiwan doesn't recognize your carefully constructed metaphors based arounds star wars quotes, and they will likely try their best to understand what you meant, but you should have just communicated like an adult instead of an excited teenager.
Most people don't care about anything. But apathy isn't inequality unless it's applied unequally.
> Most of the problems I've seen with diversity hires being "less capable" has been because they've had to work with people who are poor communicators and can't get past the idea that not everyone has the same shared background they do.
Lack of shared background is a type of being less capable. People use Star Wars metaphors because when everybody gets them, the metaphor is more engaging and takes less explaining than the non-metaphor version.
And you're making this out to be a problem, but it's really only an advantage of cultural assimilation. Hang around coders for a while and you'll decide it's time to see Star Wars. Which you can do even if you're originally from Taiwan.
2) Don't you see how taking steps to correct towards equality of outcome leads towards equality of opportunity (by increasing the networking / financial / inspiration opportunities for disadvantaged groups)? If you think that such correction has social disadvantages, why do they outweigh that social benefit?
2) We can use words until the end of time to weigh the merits of state-forced equality. Same could be said about anything else that is non-scientific in nature: i.e. we could also argue about the relative merits of state-forced equality in communism vs capitalism in the same way. You can never prove anything this way in non-scientific fields, and at best all that can be done is hope to convince the other person that your reasoning is superior. However, before we got to that point, I'd even reject it on moral principle: it is immoral for government to enforce racist or sexist policies that discriminate against certain groups of people. Yes, it's in the name of moral outrage (equality), but note government-sanctioned use of force always comes with an argument of moral outrage, even if it is almost undeniably immoral, i.e: (America funding Jihadists in the Syrian War, Vietnam, Nazi Germany, the Opening of Japan, the Inquisition, etc., etc.).
Further on #2, one of the insights of modern economic theory has been that it can many times be actually better to make adjustments to free market outcomes ex post rather than use heavy handed regulation to force an arbitrary result ex ante. If I were king, I'd much rather see everyone with free access to healthcare, housing, transportation, and education than focus on how many women are working in male-dominated roles like offshore oil drilling in the north sea (or coding, whatever arbitrary field it happens to be).
What about as auto mechanics, or plumbers? Those businesses can be very entrepreneurial, requiring no hiring decision, yet women are still underrepresented. Would you still say there are not more men than women prefer those jobs?
That made up example is especially bizarre because I can't think of a reason why women, as a group, wouldn't want to work on an oil rig, other than concern about possible sexual harassment.
Women want, and have fought (and won) to have equal opportunity in even combat positions.
Your worldview does not match the facts.
Just citing a single lawsuit as your evidence that the opposite is true, and extrapolating that to say "the facts don't match your worldview" is an assault on logic and reason.
Let's not do this here, please. Also, you're discrediting yourself and your arguments before I even get to the substance of your comment.
2) Just so we're clear, you literally just compared affirmative action to Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition. I would call this "false equivalence", but I suppose it's useless to try to "use words until the end of time" (unless, apparently, those words are "moral principle").
No, I didn't. That's your misunderstanding. Go back and read what I wrote. No one is saying they're equivalent. What I did say is that government sanctioned force always comes with an argument of moral outrage, even if what they are doing is undeniably immoral.
I should expect more of these straw man, incorrect, borderline-troll-bait attacks. It's easy to just agree with what's politically correct. It's hard to fight for what's right and this is what you run into when you do.
First, you said that moral outrage is the motivation for "racist" policies such as Affirmative Action. Next, you said that moral outrage also motivates state-sponsored violence. (I suppose this does not constitute a comparison per se.)
I'm sorry, but I really don't see the point of bringing up the Nazis, if not to tar "state-forced equality" programs with the same brush of "moral outrage leading to moral impropriety". Can you help clear up my misunderstanding?
>I'd even reject it on moral principle: it is immoral for government to enforce racist or sexist policies that discriminate against certain groups of people. Yes, it's in the name of moral outrage (equality), but note government-sanctioned use of force always comes with an argument of moral outrage, even if it is almost undeniably immoral, i.e: (America funding Jihadists in the Syrian War, Vietnam, Nazi Germany, the Opening of Japan, the Inquisition, etc., etc.).
This is not about doing what's right. This is about lawyers and political correctness. There are plenty of opportunities to make the world a better place and I don't see that many Glenn Greenwalds, Laura Poitras's, or Snowdens. In fact, the government has worked to undermine at least 2/3 of those people. We can't even provide everyone with healthcare or clean drinking water. We're funding jihadists in Syria. We have cities with murder rates higher than any country in Africa. The CIA has been caught distributing crack cocaine and the reporter who revealed it "died of suicide by 2 gunshot wounds to the head." The political correctness around equality all sounds and feels great, but the reality is that it's textbook Harrison Bergeron stuff leading us closer to that kind of dystopian future. It's hard to see that, harder yet to have the guts to say it, and much easier to just be politically correct and ignore reality.
Why should it? This reflects a very strong a priori position that people are exactly the same and don't systematically vary in their interests, cultural values, etc.
Where's the positive evidence for this (latent, implicit) positive claim?
Sorry, sorry, too easy :P . To more seriously and substantively address your point, variance in cultural values in part constitutes inequality of opportunity, no? A culture that values such-and-such Silicon Valley principle less offers less opportunity for development of Silicon-Valley-hirable skills. And variance in interests is caused in part by inequality of opportunity, no? I might not have been interested in computer science if my scientist parents had not encouraged me at a young age.
So in response to my asking "wouldn't equality of opportunity lead to equality of outcome?", you have challenged me to defend the assertion that equality of opportunity exists. Which is not my assertion.
I will also note that it's very easy to call someone else's claim positive and Russell's Teapot them to death. The assertion that variation in the skills that make a good Oracle employee correlates with heritage could also be called a strong positive claim. (In fact, I see that poster sidlls has done just this, about twenty posts further down.)
No, I most definitely have not.
I challenge you to demonstrate that interests, cultural values, and other factors that influence professional qualification to be evenly distributed.
This is a sine qua non condition for the claim that "equal opportunity begets equal success" to be true.
If you want to define "equality of opportunity" as all groups being identical in:
- their culture
- their values
- their intellectual interests
- their views on education
...then I ask you: is this really what you want to argue?
Do you really want to deny the existence and legitimacy of these idiosyncrasies that minorities quite vocally cherish? If I were mean-spirited, I might even ask you why you 'hate diversity', but I won't stoop to your level.
If you're instead arguing that the hiring process should be less concerned with competence, and more concerned other things (like skin color, gender and national origin), expect people to disagree with you.
Edit: some empirical evidence for you to chew on . It points to systematic differences in the professional interests of men and women. I suggest you dismount from your high horse and start looking at cultural differences in professional orientation, as well. Literature abounds.
To respond to your newly edited (four times! ack! I am scrambling to keep up) comment: I do not want to argue that all groups of people are the same. You have already challenged me to prove the nonexistence of such difference. I have already refused. Your new phrasing has not made your challenge any more reasonable or relevant to my original post.
I'm honestly not even sure what you want me to say here...? "Yes, there are differences between ethnic/religious/cultural/racial groups. These differences contribute to inequality of opportunity, which... exists." Does that somehow nullify the question that I asked wallace_f?
EDIT: On something like your third or fourth edit, you took out the ad hominem attack at the end of your post. I will leave my response in brackets after this note, if only so that comment-readers don't feel like they are losing their minds. [You seem very touchy about this topic. Why do you feel compelled to say such mean things about my posts? What part of them made you feel accused of being a bigot? I don't understand, but I would like to.]
You can't have it both ways.
Either all groups are (statistically) the same in their values, preferences, etc, or the claim "equal opportunity => equal representation" does not hold.
Again, this latent assumption in your reasoning is the object of my criticism.
>You seem very touchy about this topic. Why do you feel compelled to say such mean things about my posts?
I apologize if I came off as mean. I did indeed edit my text to remain as civil as possible. The informational content has not changed significantly (it's mostly formatting and tone).
I am, indeed, touchy because it's all too easy you to insinuate bigotry where there is none. It's perfectly normal to be upset when baseless, unfair and dishonest insinuations are used to attack one's character.
But let's be honest: you know this. Frankly I find it disingenuous to act surprised at such a reaction.
With that, let's return to the matter at hand: can you demonstrate that the aforementioned factors are homogeneously distributed between, say, ethnic groups?
Here is where I think we differ: we are using "opportunity" to mean two different things. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that when I'm saying "equal opportunity", you're hearing "at the point of hiring, equally qualified candidates are equally likely to be hired". I am taking a much longer view of "opportunity" - one that considers cultural context, childhood exposure, and socialized gender differences like the ones represented in the paper you linked. To me, if one candidate went to engineering camps growing up, and another did not, they did not have "equal opportunities" to develop into equally strong engineering candidates, who would eventually reach the point of hiring. The "aforementioned factors" you're talking about (e.g. cultural values, income inequality across ethnicities) are baked into my understanding of "opportunity".
This is why I haven't believed you when you've told me that the existence of cultural difference proves me wrong. To express my position in propositional logic terms, I'm saying that I believe A ("equal opportunity") implies B ("equal outcomes"). From my point of view, with how I'm meaning "opportunity" - which I don't think is how you're understanding it - you're trying to get me to admit that in the real world, "equal opportunity" is False. I have admitted that repeatedly. A is False. This does not contradict A -> B. [edited to hopefully clear up this confusing analogy]
You've told me I'm "playing with words to insinuate bigotry", but this is what I've meant by "unequal opportunity" the entire time. Because this is what I think "opportunity" means, in terms of becoming an employed engineer. I tried to explain that in my very first reply to you. I'm sorry if I didn't explain it clearly.
I can't control what you feel is disingenuous, so I won't try, but I really think our disagreement here is just a matter of verbiage.
Edit: perhaps you caught one of my earlier versions. I did indeed edit for tone. I'm quite happy with it now.
You can also apply this rationale to your own projects, by including the Code of Merit into your projects.
> GitHub’s Julie Ann Horvath, a designer who also founded the company’s all-female lecture series Passion Projects, said the rug first became a problem when photos of it made their way into feminist discussions online.
> The false idea that the tech industry is a meritocracy hurts everyone. It allows Paul Graham to continue thinking that the founders who make it into Y Combinator are the best of the best, not just the best people with the most privileges. It also furthers a culture of entrepreneur worship.
Make of it what you will. But it seems GitHub at least doesn't want their floors to reflect a meritocracy.
So by that I mean, why can't we just evaluate individuals based on their own merits? If you want to stop inequality, fight to stop inequality of opportunity. Stopping inequality of outcomes makes little sense.
Edit. Removed stuff about types of diversity; not relevant.
Maybe something like that could work if we ever figure out how to consistently and accurately measure productivity. Assuming that productivity is in fact how you intend to measure "merit".
Also, from your link...
The project creators, lead developers, core team, constitute the managing members of the project and have final say in every decision of the project, technical or otherwise, including overruling previous decisions. There are no limitations to this decisional power.
Well, at least you're honest about being a dictatorship. :) OTOH, just saying doesn't make it so. Hostile forks are a thing, license changes without copyright assignment are not a thing, etc.
All members have the same opportunities to seek any challenge they want within the project.
Congratulations, you're biased in favor of people with more outgoing and assertive personalities. ;)
Authority or position in the project will be proportional to the accrued contribution. Seniority must be earned.
Proportional requires that contributions be quantifiable. I'm not aware of any accurate, objective way to do that. (If there was, it would also be a solution to the "how to measure productivity" problem.)
Software is evolutive: the better implementations must supersede lesser implementations. Technical advantage is the primary evaluation metric.
What does "technical advantage" include? Switching costs imposed on users? The level of skill required from contributors? IDE-computable code metrics?
This is a space for technical prowess; topics outside of the project will not be tolerated.
Non technical conflicts will be discussed in a separate space. Disruption of the project will not be allowed.
These sound like an excellent way to let the trees blind you to the forest.
Individual characteristics, including but not limited to, body, sex, sexual preference, race, language, religion, nationality, or political preferences are irrelevant in the scope of the project and will not be taken into account concerning your value or that of your contribution to the project.
So, there's no such thing as "reasonable accommodations"?
There is no room for ambiguity: Ambiguity will be met with questioning; further ambiguity will be met with silence. It is the responsibility of the originator to provide requested context.
Wow, working only on clearly-defined problems must be nice. What happens when the ambiguity is part of the problem space?
Hostile forks do not change the project, they create a new one. License changes are of course restricted by law, as are all other ‘decisional powers’ (as any reasonable person would assume).
> Congratulations, you're biased in favor of people with more outgoing and assertive personalities. ;)
Not my problem, a technical project is not a therapeutical session for people who can’t speak their mind.
> Proportional requires that contributions be quantifiable. I'm not aware of any accurate, objective way to do that. (If there was, it would also be a solution to the "how to measure productivity" problem.)
You only need a good enough comparison to differentiate two people if there is a dispute. This is often a very clear-cut case. If it isn’t, let the rest of the project decide in whatever way is appropriate.
> What does "technical advantage" include? Switching costs imposed on users? The level of skill required from contributors? IDE-computable code metrics?
I don’t see why different projects could not have different metrics there, to be decided upon by the project/core team? If it’s a fun-in-your-free-time project, you can expect as much as you want from future contributors and don’t give a shit about your users, conversely, if you try to sell it, you may need to take switching costs into account.
> Wow, working only on clearly-defined problems must be nice. What happens when the ambiguity is part of the problem space?
If your problem space is not well defined you have bigger problems than a code of merit you may or may not like. Do more research first until the problem space is defined. Apart from this trivial tidbit, the sentence obviously aims at ambiguity in communication, where there is never any place for it. Not using words ill-defined words or ambiguous constructs seems like a decent idea in general.
I can understand how it perhaps seems unfair if someone is not hired purely on perceived talent alone, but they are not being discriminated against. That's not the right word for that.
Basically a fair hiring process as defined by the above would be:
P(hire | features) = P(hire | race=1, features) = P(hire | race=2, features)
This may sound a bit silly or unnecessary, but unless this formula is specifically enforced, if a race were correlated with expected profit of a hire, a hiring algorithm might accidentally infer race from the other features. You can see the paper for an extended discussion.
With that background out of the way, let's consider hiring based on quotas. Since hiring takes place continuously across time, in order to maintain a quota across time we would need to change P(hire | race=1) based on the current composition of the company. Therefore P(hire | race=1) != P(hire | race=2) at least some of the time. Therefore it's discriminatory according to the above definition.
Of course, you may not like the definition. I would be very interested to hear an alternate formalization of non-discrimination!
The thing scientists (especially physicists) are trying to model.
In case you missed my point, we aren't talking about physics here, but about society, which is a reality we create.
Appealing to "reality" in a discussion about bias amounts to throwing up your hands and dismissing the problem as just "the way things are".
It's like if you described a complicated social problem you've observed and I shrugged and said "physics, eh?".
Yes, that was how I read GGP's comment. I think you are overstating the degree of control that we have over society.
For example, I have often heard the case that society influences young women into roles that eventually prevent them from becoming engineers. Gendered children's toys are often used as an example of this. However, gendered toy preference exists before socialization has occurred (it has been demonstrated in 3-8 month old infants). The same gendered toy preference that exists in humans has also been demonstrated in vervet monkeys and rhesus monkeys.
With those references now provided, I think it's safe to say gendered toy preference in humans is much bigger than simply a question of which toys we encourage children to buy -- there seems to be a considerable amount of genetics involved.
Hopefully now you are understanding what I meant when I defined reality for you. As I said I believe this is also what GGP was referring to.
So with that background out of the way:
> In case you missed my point, we aren't talking about physics here, but about society, which is a reality we create.
> It's like if you described a complicated social problem you've observed and I shrugged and said "physics, eh?".
A. How do you know it's a problem with the "reality we create" and not a problem with the reality we are stuck with? (Again, this is how I read GGP)
B. If we can trace the problem to something akin to male vervet monkeys preferring to play with Tonka trucks... what are we to do about it beyond ensuring that P(loan | race=1) = P(loan | race=2)?
I ask B because the idea of forcing my life choices onto someone else makes me feel ill. It reminds me of being forced to join the basketball team in high school, which I hated (though others seemed to love). The sick feeling compounds when I consider doing it purely on the basis of their race or gender in contexts where their race or gender is causal... and that's usually the course of action people on your side of this discussion recommend.
I'm sure the people that have been forced into high-paying fields against their natural inclinations appreciate your feeling ill on their behalf, though. /s
Agreed. I didn't say otherwise, I just also pointed out that there's evidence some of those biases are genetic.
> There is ample evidence that the American criminal justice system, for example, is biased at several levels.
I believe this should be fixed! I'm the person who linked the google formalism for modifying a model to be non-racist. This whole thread came from that.
> I see where you're coming from: at any discussion of bias, you would rather blame it on genetics, which means we as a society are not responsible for doing anything about it.
No. My position is that I want bankers to use a race-blinded models when deciding on loans. In general, where there is bias (especially where there is genetic/non-correctable bias), I believe the biased human should be replaced by a computer programmed to not have a bias.
I want this because I think the problem is real, I would like it solved, and I believe the other methods people propose (bias training, etc) are unlikely to work.
I also believe replacing as many humans as possible will not fix all the problems I imagine you are currently attributing to societal bias (ie I believe that some life decisions may well have a large genetic component). I do not view those "problems" as things to be solved, so much as deeply disturbing indications that free will does not exist. That in some sense you and I might be discussing optimization methods for player happiness in a zero player game. That in as much as happiness exists, I worry it is primarily found by embracing our genetic biases.
> I'm sure the people that have been forced into high-paying fields against their natural inclinations appreciate your feeling ill on their behalf, though. /s
People used to make arguments like this in defense of arranged marriages you know. Letting the heart decide isn't stupid.
This is because if P(loan | black_zip) is profitable > 0, any bank primarily motivated by profit will approve such loans. [this is the statement I believe you meant]
If P(loan | black_zip) isn't profitable > 0 after correcting for race, this would mean is that the neighborhood itself signaled something about the person's likelihood of paying back the loan. Perhaps theft is very common, employment is very sparse or seasonal, vandalism/arson of property is common, etc... because we already corrected for race it amounts to saying "don't approve housing loans for neighborhoods where people regularly burn down houses" or similar. This doesn't seem discriminatory to me.
So while I do agree there are discriminatory issues not addressed by the formalism, your example seems to be handled by using the normal economic models for what decisions a bank should make given a model P(loan).
To give a few examples where quota would not work, lets talk about lotto winner. Why should winners not be on a quota so that winners are proportional to the population demographics? How is it fair that winner demographics don't match the population in race, gender and location?
Or what about having quota on roads in order to create equal road maintenance based on population. You drive through a unpopulated area and suddenly only one car per hour can drive through.
Or say that the police would use a quota system when deciding which crimes to investigate. Would it be fair to base how many murder investigations should be done by cities proportional population to the country? What about police budgets?
It would be nice if we could talk about what other systems that we want quota on and see what commonality there is between those and what distinguish them from the others.
Lottos: are known to give each ticket a fair chance based on a published set of rules. I think if that existed for hiring then many of the issues we see here would be gone. Unfortunately for many jobs it is difficult to give a test which is a fair sole determiner of suitability for work. And if I understand correctly also illegal in some jurisdictions, more or less because it can be abused.
Roads: maintenance does in fact vary by the wealth of the supporting area. Try driving from Nebraska to Kansas on US77 for a stark example. In addition, roads are networks and thus it makes sense to subsidize maintenance of connections to increase overall network value.
Police: some people do indeed advocate a form of this because they say police already relatively over-investigate crimes of minorities. That is, a white person has a higher chance to get away with any one given crime (for some categories)
While road funding may be distributed based on usage data after the fact or density projection before construction, should we throttle traffic flow so that roads wear evenly?
But should a murderer go free? And what of the scenarios where a given minority group collectively _does_ commit more crimes? It may in fact be nurture not nature (although it doesn't really matter) that yields such an outcome yet we would ignore such behavior because it feels overbearing to subject the group to "more" scrutiny relative to other groups that requires less.
I think the point is that it is confusing to entertain such diversity policy when applied outside of a socially hot topic such as the tech labor market. But also a challenge to find a scenario where equality of outcome is objectively desirable and draw parallels.
The exception is Asians. Asians are vastly overrepresented. I don't think this is a bad thing. It is meritocracy in action. But it violates the common notion that meritocracy and equality are the same thing.
By the way, if Asians comprise about 30% of the workforce in the Valley, I wouldn't say they're over-represented. They're probably under-represented, in fact.
Seems pretty discriminatory to me.
Bonus question: should the HR department be allowed to ask for ethnicity ahead of time or would noneligible applicants have to sacrifice precious time in futile interviews?
Rephrase every demand for quota as a limit, let's see how that would go down.
Discrimination means to select one thing over another because of some criterion. It is precisely the correct word for this. Racial discrimination means selecting one person over another using race as the criterion. Racial discrimination is always immoral and is, thankfully, illegal.
You mean Indians not East Asians, right? From the OP:
> Oracle was far more likely to hire Asian applicants - particularly Indian people
On that point, the entire racial taxonomy, especially when used in the context of "diversity in tech", is elementary and useless. The average black American has more in common with an Asian American than an Asian American and an Asian immigrant or a black American and an African immigrant.
If you want diversity, you have it in the tech world. True diversity (in terms of communication style, beliefs, culture, etc.) is found in the taxonomy of country of origin. The tech world has a high immigrant %.
Ironically, the group of people who are most vocal about "diversity in tech" are less diverse than people in tech since most people who are advocating for "diversity" are American.
Speaking personally, I found that work environments with lots of new or unamericanized immigrants had little collaboration, little in-office comraderie, and no socialization outside of work (e.g. pub nights). It was boring and I pined for a culturally American setting. Sometimes "multicultural" just means the subset of all cultures involved.
It sounds like you just wish they were more like you? Isn't this the kind of mentality that prevents diversity?
I actually hate when teams go to pubs because it just marginalizes people who can't/don't drink, god forbid there are any recovering alcoholics or people allergic to it.
While I can understand the frustration, I feel like you are in a position to get people to come together and feel more comraderie. After all, if these people are coming from other countries, their English is probably not that great, and it's likely difficult for them to communicate what they are thinking. I can see how they would want to go home and be able to speak in their native tongue, not to mention enjoy the things they used to.
It's our job to make them feel welcome and like they can express themselves in this country. Of course that's just my opinion and I'll admit I'm biased because I feel like I'm usually the one who doesn't fit in.
Using your definition of diversity, yes. I think that part of the point in making is that people maintain diversity as the ultimate goal. If it's directly harmful to the more characteristic goals of your grad program or company, is it really worth it? (I'm not advocating for discrimination, but using fewer visas isn't discrimination.)
>I actually hate when teams go to pubs because it just marginalizes people who can't/don't drink, god forbid there are any recovering alcoholics or people allergic to it.
Meh. I don't think drinking should be the only group activity, but a little alcohol goes goes a long way in getting people comfortable with one another.
>It's our job to make them feel welcome and like they can express themselves in this country.
I generally agree with this. However, many of these people seem to have little interest in American culture, and wealthy leftists seem intent on pumping as many immigrants into the US as possible. For example, many STEM grad programs are completely overrun by Southeast Asian and East Asian students who did undergrad in their home countries. IME, these programs have a small minority of Americans and are absolutely abysmal socially. The professors tend to be SJW's, which makes me think that they don't want to acknowledge the consequences of this, although it may just be hard to find qualified American applicants.
I missed this point in your original comment, so I appreciate that you took the time to respond and point it out to me. That's a very interesting point.
> Meh. I don't think drinking should be the only group activity, but a little alcohol goes goes a long way in getting people comfortable with one another.
I can only speak from my own perspective as someone who doesn't like being around alcohol, but this seems like it'd make it so that some people felt like became closer to the team while others felt left out. I suppose my bias in this matter is obvious.
When the government looks at everyone's employment data and seeks out people who are deviating from the mean, they are guaranteed to turn up spurious results. This is known as "Data Dredging" in science, and it is very bad.
It is the Federal government suing these companies. Blame Obama. But not to worry, Trump will redeem male whites.
"Oh, you have 50% female workforce? Well, what about women of color? Not enough of them = you're discriminating!"
That's no accident.
Ironically, that's probably the safest.
I think you're jumping too far to that conclusion. The only conclusion we can draw along those lines is that if there's evidence of discrimination the DOL will investigate and take action if it finds enough supporting evidence.
It's entirely possible for different companies to discriminate against several different groups in several different ways.
A major function of the DOL is to investigate discrimination claims, and they don't jump straight to a huge lawsuit because one or two people claimed discrimination. By the time they file these lawsuits they've probably had a lot of complaints, done an investigation and found supporting evidence.
Was the evidence against Palantir simply the rate at which they hired Asians? Or was there some other evidence that indicated discrimination?
Quota hiring is usually considered a safe harbor under the law. Non-discriminatory policy and equal opportunity, on the other hand, can still create liability under the civil rights laws. That's why quotas are so popular.
But you can't run a tech company with strict quotas. There aren't enough decent engineers available at any price in many of the necessary categories.
And these companies haven't "gone crazy". There is zero evidence for that.
Also, exact quotas is discriminatory by definition. You are, by definition, hiring and/or not hiring somebody because of their race, which itself is becoming a rather tenuous concept in itself due to globalisation (mixing of races).
First, this is where the meat is: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ofccp/ofccp20170118-0
"...Oracle nevertheless preferred Asian applications over other qualified applicants in the Professional Technical 1, Individual Contributor Job group and in the Product Development job group at statistically significant rates." 
Perhaps I'm naive, but I'll say it again and again until someone with influence hears me: large companies should do anonymous interviewing. I've interviewed with Oracle, Cisco, and many of the "old corporate-y" companies. There's ZERO reason the interview process can't be completely anonymized. Their interviews (from my limited experience) are completely impersonal and done on an ad-hoc basis anyway.
That being said, it seems this issue may be more of an H1B1 issue, which inherently cannot be made anonymous.
And you can also make the early stages of your interview email or text-chat based (or just a Google Doc, like some companies do), to eliminate any potential bias in things that can be inferred from voice like accent, region, and gender.
Obviously once they're on-site for an interview, you can't anonymize much anymore, but anonymizing every stage before that seems like a win-win to me (excluding potential costs of implementing the system).
My point is that I think that an Asian person, applying to a company known to be favorable toward Asians in hiring, would signal their ethnicity somehow in their resume. At least, that would be the smart play for that person.
The "tell" that I'm primarily relying upon is that you often drop articles where a US-native speaker would use them. Just one example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13197570 (that was as far back as I went) I think most native US speakers would use "the gun industry" and "the film industry". Several later comments drop an "an" or "a" article as well.
You also have a habit of using a comma splice rather than a semi-colon to join sentences, but that one is harder to place geographically, as it's a somewhat common trait within the US as well. In my experience, it is often a trait of European native speakers who learned English as a second language, but is less reliable than dropped articles.
Definite article rules do vary a little bit, though, so extra definite articles would be a good indicator of European native speakers...
I have never witnessed that mistake with non native English speakers.
No knowledge of tools used, name, DOB, companies you have worked at previously, is where Treehouse starts in assessing your application materials.
These were silly simple questions, like assign an empty array to a variable in Python, then append N items to it, and print it on the screen. No FizzBuzz at this stage anyway.
More like "describe how you would handle situation X" or "walk through how you'd solve this real problem we recently saw, given this information".
My intuition suggests they are assessing communication skill first. stuff like tone and clarity in writing. I can't say if that's accurate or they were looking for a "right answer" type response, however.
FWIW, it was actually the easiest application process I've been through. Something about the anonymous part made me feel more relaxed. Like I'll be judged on my own words, not a bullet list of skills. That said, didn't hear from them. :-/
I would be very wary about what counts as 'statistically significant'. If I flip a coin 10 times and it lands heads 10 times, is that 'statistically significant'? Not if I'm going through a jar with 1000 coins.
And splitting Oracle's workforce into 'job groups' makes it much easier to find spurious rates of discrimination. Eg. there is discrimination in the 'Professional Technical 1' group but not the 'Professional Technical 2' group...etc.
(This discussion reminds me of this Dilbert cartoon: http://dilbert.com/strip/2001-10-25 )
There are plenty of advocacy organizations that badger, and attempt to shame, companies into buying their "consulting" services. Services that consist primarily of coming in, counting your employees by the hue of their skin, or whether their genitals are innies or outies. Then, after you've paid them stupid amounts of money, they provide a seal of approval. See Project Include or the Rainbow Coalition.
Technically, they don't even need a name or any other personal info until they're ready to make an offer.
I'm sure that even conversations can be encrypted so the job seeker and the interviewer can see, but nobody else can.
Just make a Chat web client based on the FTP servers or whatever works for everyone.
This would be good for those of us who are 40 and over and have a lot of experience and skills.
I left oracle in 1998 and returned in 2003. I did notice a dramatic shift in the employee demographics at that time. Areas that used to be mostly white or mixed were now entirely indian. I'm not sure of the reasons but I've worked at places that are much more successful than oracle and I suspect it is not oracle that is discriminating as much as it is a lot of better companies enticing talent away. I've seen many of oracle's brightest employees working at more successful companies.
I've worked in a company where this shift happened in front of my eyes.
Basically I concluded that they have very clear people/employee hierarchy therefore Indian who is in top-position will rather deal with another Indian as a lower worker because he will be able to order him around like a puppet. Therefore he will vouch to hire more Indians.
This may sound like a generalisation and it probably is, but I've seen this exact shift of company having less than 10% Indian to 80%+. And i've seen how they treat each other.
Do you imply something here or is it just a slip?
I have noticed some ethnic bias in hiring for test/quality engineering roles. My working theory is that, for cultural reasons, some people are mostly looking to work for a big firm, and are thus happy in such a role. The rest think of it as too dull sounding.
Can the DOL back up this claim with salary data to see if Oracle is abusing the H1-B visa system by purposefully keeping wages low?
Most of the time it is just easier to hire Asian/Indian employees because they are readily available (larger proportion of population entering tech filed via education or change of career).
It would be interesting to see how far DOL can stretch this.
Edit 1: Improvement
- I doubt that. It's "easier" to hire because they "agree" to lower wages and its easier to retain them, because their visa status is tied to the employer. The employers have H1B workers on a leash.
The process of hiring an H1B worker in short.
- Hire an immigration lawyer.
- Post an LCA.
- Apply petition to USCIS.
- Pay petition fees (higher for fast track process)
- Respond to USCIS queries.
- Get petition approved.
- Its a different game if the employer wants retain the H1B worker after 6th year of H1B.
So hiring is not easy. But retaining and paying them is "easy". So why do these corporations take this much pain in hiring H1B workers ? No its not the skills they are after. (after all H1B is lottery based not skill based right ? )
- Post representative salary data, including the last few (5?) hires to this position.
- Publish the job position locally, so it can be filled by local workers preferentially, and then only by H1B if unfilled.
- Ensure the worker is initially paid a salary similar to other existing hires in that position.
I don't understand how people make the leap that H1B is used to lower wages. It's an awfully complex, risky and inefficient way to suppress wages. You would need to lie about "prevailing wages" in order for this scheme to work, which is illegal and would put you and your company into deep trouble.
Publishing the position locally is easily skirted: It's not published in places that people look at, it's not written in a way that makes it sound appealing, and often has some nonsensical requirements: In practice, you don't get local workers applying to them.
Then, there's how you hire for positions as junior as possible, and you keep the person there for 6+ years (the green card process can take pretty much forever if you are mean enough to your employee).
I was an H1B. My compensation was pretty fair when I started compared to the US employees around me, but as years went by, I kept taking on more responsibilities, but my salary didn't change to match. Once the green card process started, changing jobs became extremely unappealing, not just because risks of having to restart the green card process, but because to apply for a green card, my employer asked me to agree to pay attorney fees and costs if I left before the green card was awarded plus one year. Any job worth applying to would have been higher responsibility than the paper job I had been hired for originally, so would I be able to transfer by PERM filing across employers in the first place? Not guaranteed. So I kept the job: Being European in the early 2000s, there was a signifiant green card backlog for me, but not a decade long, so I could wait. All in all, I was an H1B for 8 years.
In the next 3 years after I got the green card, I changed jobs a couple of times and my salary more than doubled: I went from being called a plain engineer that just happened to report to the CTO to becoming principal engineer at a Fortune 500 corporation. It's 5 years later, and last year I made 5 times what I was making in my last H1B year: That level of catch-up doesn't come from me improving that much in the last few years, but total catch-up from where I started from.
Imagine what the big outsourcers, who handle many thousands of H1B applications a year, can do to suppress wages further.
It's depressing to think about the stress and anxiety this might cause someone who is literally facing deportation if he doesn't "suck it up" and keep working at a sweat shop for the same salary they were hired at 5+ years ago.
If you don't qualify for the family-based or refugee route, employment-based immigration is the only viable pathway. The amount of hate I see piled on people trying to come here via the employment-based immigration seems insane to me. These people make it seem like employment-based immigration is not as respectable or legitimate, compared to refugee/asylum and family-based immigration.
The problem with requiring higher wagers is that for people like me, who were students in US -- it's very hard to get an ultra-high salary for the first job out of college. I was a student (on an F-1 visa), and my first job out of college offered me $60,000/year. On my first job on my H-1B visa (in NYC), I was offered $85,000 a year (got slightly over $100,000 with bonuses). Then, just about a year and half later, I was paid (mostly through lucky bonuses) slightly over $200,000 in a single year.
If you raised wage requirements, you'd basically be not allowing people like me to continue to stay and work in the US (after graduation from college), and would instead only allow people from outside who have lots of experience (and skill) and can command a much higher salary upfront.
What is wrong with wanting to prioritise people who have lots of experience and skill?
I think we should just eliminate the limits on employment-based immigration entirely, with the only restriction being that such immigration does not depress US wages (which is already implemented as the LCA today). At the very least, use qualitative limits, not quantitative limits.
But even better, just let peaceful immigrants in. Before 1921, if you were white, there were no restrictions on you moving to the US. So, let's go back to the pre-1921 immigration policy, with the slight modification that non-white people are not banned. The Libertarian Party makes a good argument: https://www.lp.org/issues/immigration
> But even better, just let peaceful immigrants in.
How would the US absorb the hundreds of millions who would come?
Obviously, only a fool would stay here if their condition of living is worse here. If their life is worse here, they'll just move back! Duh! Immigration dropped sharply during the Great Recession, and large numbers of immigrants were actually leaving the country.
The one restriction I support personally is: No welfare or any kind of public support for immigrants. We don't want moochers. Also: don't allow them to sleep on the streets and stuff. We don't want the poor from the whole world flooding our streets, and asking for hand-outs. Kick them out. If someone can't be economically successful in this country, and make enough money to support themselves (i.e. through a job or a business), don't allow them to stay here. That's a reasonable restriction.
Economics will become a natural regulator of immigration. Those who can be successful here will stay. Those who can't will leave. I can predict that, under such welcoming immigration laws, the country's total GDP will grow massively.
On another note, people with facetious concerns about there only being a limited supply of jobs should read up on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy
We had an insane level of immigration during the 1880-1921 period, and have we been poorer as a result for it? The US per capita GDP is exceeds that of most Western countries. (I guess one of the downsides is that NYC is now littered with pizza stores everywhere. Thanks Italian immigrants who flooded this country in the early 1900s!) This book covers this history in detail: https://amazon.com/gp/product/0809053446
I'm utterly and thoroughly opposed to those anti-free-market half-loosers who want to "protect" their jobs by preventing competition from others. This is just like the folks who want to require a license for everything, and want to use the power of the state (i.e. the threat of violence) to limit competition from others. With respect to immigration, I very reluctantly (partially) support mandating that immigrants be paid at least as much American workers, as this will prevent wage depression (even though this is an un-libertarian position). Our existing immigration laws already require this with every employment-based visa application. It's called the LCA (Labor Condition Application).
However, from a principled libertarian point of view, if another person else is willing to do your job for less money, well then, that's how much your work is worth. It's bad for society on the whole, for you to artificially inflate your pay grade by limiting the supply of available workers in your field.One of the reasons why medical costs are so high in the United States is that the supply of doctors is severely curtailed by regulation. It drives up cost for everyone, and it a net drag (or a tax) on the rest of people who need medical care. Government-imposed regulatory limits (on professional licensing, trade, immigration, the right to work, etc) protect various small interest groups at cost to everyone else, and are generally bad on the whole.
The problem is hundreds of millions of people have a very low standard of living; an order of magnitude lower than the average American.
5 people living in the same room earning half of the current federal US minimum wage is a huge increase in quality of life for hundreds of millions of people.
You aren't explaining how an increase in supply for low level jobs, an increase in the demand for housing, an increased demand on infrastructure (police, roads, etc), etc is a benefit to US citizens and will result in a better quality of life for them.
> However, from a principled libertarian point of view
And why should we care about a principled libertarian point of view?
They tend to be ideologues who care more about reasoning from principles than actual real world outcomes.
As I stated before, I support requiring that immigrants be paid at least as much as U.S. workers for the particular job they take up. For example, if an immigrant is going to do X job, require that they be paid at least as much as what U.S. workers doing that job earn. Our existing immigration laws already require this with every employment-based visa application. It's called the LCA (Labor Condition Application). In terms of where the wage data comes from--the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts wage surveys of almost every job in the country.
To clarify: I'm stating here that I support the principal underlying the LCA, I'm not talking about its implementation. Implementing the LCA properly, and ensuring that it isn't circumvented is not the topic of discussion. Some unethical employers circumvent the LCA today by using a lower-wage job title (like calling a senior developer a QA person) to pay a lower wage. But that's a problem of implementing the law--the law itself is fine, it's the onus of the Executive Branch to make sure it is implemented properly (and not circumvented). We're not discussing that here.
> You aren't explaining how an increase in supply for low level jobs, an increase in the demand for housing, an increased demand on infrastructure (police, roads, etc), etc is a benefit to US citizens
This is one of the most idiotic and brain-dead things anti-immigrant people say. You are assuming that new roads cannot be constructed, new houses cannot be built, and most of all (the biggest mistake people make) that there is only a fixed number of jobs in a country. Please read up on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lump_of_labour_fallacy
Since the founding of this country, we had a century and half of mass immigration from Europe. Just think of what's happened. New towns were built, cities expanded, and new infrastructure was built to support the booming population. The economy expanded. Your theory implies that the number of jobs, houses, roads, etc would remain fixed to the number they were in 1789. What an idiotic theory.
The least bit of economic investigation shows that it is false. A bit of common sense also shows it is false. Immigrants typically add to the economy of the country. Numerous studies have measured the economic impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy, and have shown it to be a huge net benefit for the native (US citizen) population. For an excellent study, see The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23550/the-economic-and-fiscal-co...
This stupid fucking theory is so brain-dead, and has been used over and over by anti-immigrant people (like Jeff Sessions) as an argument to effectively ban all immigration, that it makes me want punch the face of the person repeating it. At this point, I automatically assume that the person saying it must be using it knowingly as a straw man argument to ban all immigration, and their real motivation is not based in economics, but rather in xenophobia and/or racism.
We have strong evidence that price fixing doesn't work. You can't double or triple the supply and use a half baked law to keep the price high.
I don't know why you think basic economics doesn't apply to labor.
> But that's a problem of implementing the law--the law itself is fine
That is naive. The truth is these kinds of laws are very expensive to enforce.
Should each immigrant put up a $20k bond?
> You are assuming that new roads cannot be constructed, new houses cannot be built, and most of all
Stop creating strawman arguments.
Adding and expanding infrastructure to a dense city is incredibly expensive. It cost my local government $100 million to widen a few hundred meter stretch of road.
> and most of all (the biggest mistake people make) that there is only a fixed number of jobs in a country
Again, stop creating strawman arguments.
I am arguing that a lot of the working poor will be worse off under your economic free for all. You haven't provided a shred of evidence as to why that won't be the case.
I don't believe there are a fixed number of jobs but I also understand how difficult it is to change fields even as a well educated reasonably wealthy individual.
We have a huge amount of evidence that the working poor struggle to adapt to changing labor markets.
The way you jump to claims of racism and xenophobia despite having put up a very weak argument is telling.
> Should each immigrant put up a $20k bond?
Compliance with wage requirements is the duty of the employer, not the employee. According to your logic, we would punish U.S. workers who are not paid the $7.25 federal minimum wage by asking them to pay $20,000 instead of taking action against the employers who fail to comply with the minimum wage law. So your statement is illogical and invalid.
> Adding and expanding infrastructure to a dense city is incredibly expensive. It cost my local government $100 million to widen a few hundred meter stretch of road.
If your city overspent on roads, that's a result of corruption and/or government inefficiency -- a different and unrelated problem. The cost of increasing infrastructure is paid for by the taxpayers. Immigrants pay taxes, and thus increase tax revenue. If there is a gap in the additional cost and the additional tax revenue generated by immigrants, that is a result of government inefficiency and possibly corruption.
The solution to that problem is to fix government inefficiency, the solution is not to ban immigrants. So your argument here is also invalid.
> I am arguing that a lot of the working poor will be worse off under your economic free for all.
According to your theory, the working poor should have been decimated by the mass immigration from Europe that occurred during much of US history. It wasn't.
Immigration contributes to economic growth. The poorest and least-skilled US workers might be impacted, but that is not the issue at hand here. We're discussing the immigration of educated, skilled immigrants.
For evidence on how immigration contributes to economic growth, see this study: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23550/the-economic-and-fiscal-co...
To recap: you made a straw man argument about your city's extreme inefficiency at building roads. Then you mentioned something about putting up a bond, perhaps as a joke. That's why I brought up the possibility of xenophobia and/or racism, since these sort of comments make me wonder what the real motivations behind this is.
From a libertarian point of view, the problem I have with immigrant-hating people is that they're advocating for the use of violence (i.e. "immigration enforcement") against peaceful immigrants. Libertarians believe the use of violence against peaceful immigrants is wrong: https://www.lp.org/issues/immigration The Libertarians whom you dismissed as "ideologues" are people who are motivated by a strong sense of right and wrong. I know people who were brought here as young children, who've lived here their whole lives. Not that I think this makes them more deserving of being allowed to stay -- any and all peaceful persons should be allowed to stay. But anti-immigrant folk want to send men with guns into their homes, drag them out forcibly at gunpoint, throw them in a cage at some detention facility, and then ship them off to some random country. And for what? They were living peaceful and productive lives here. These anti-immigrant people want to use violence to destroy the lives of peaceful immigrants. I find this evil and immoral.
Interestingly, companies can provide their own wage surveys in order to justify the salary on an LCA. They aren't required to use the DoL wage data. 
"For the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs, employers have the option of using one of three wage sources to obtain the prevailing wage: (1) requesting a prevailing wage from the NPWC; (2) using a survey conducted by an independent authoritative source; or (3) using another legitimate source of information."
Larger companies are using #3. Since it is so vague and there isn't any oversight within the program they are able to manipulate the survey to provide results to their benefit while still claiming "We pay the prevailing wage! (according to our shady wage survey)"
Yeah, we all know a huge corporation would never lie, especially not such a shining beacon of progressive virtue as Oracle, where profit always takes a backseat to human decency. I mean, it's not like such a huge company can spare a few hours of paperwork drudge to set up such a scheme; they certainly don't have legions of Romanian dudes ready to file any form they're told to file to keep their job.
TBH, you don't even need to lie. How many government bureaucrats are deeply familiar with wages of a Fusion Enterprise Foobar for Middleware Cloud Baz Devop Ninja, a position that likely exists only in Oracle itself? Just make sure the position is properly "jailed" internally so all hires are consistent ("we don't have any DBAs here, we only have BigData Deployment and Maintenance Specialists for the Cloud Grid, totally different thing") and publish the job "locally" in places nobody will ever pay attention to, or on an intranet job-site where no application will ever be reviewed or actioned.
> It's an awfully complex, risky and inefficient way to suppress wages.
I agree that there are easier ways, like relocating all your operations in cheaper countries - something Oracle has already done almost 100%. But half the developing world seems to be on fire at the moment, and the other half "suffers" wage inflation at increasingly rapid pace, so watchagonnado...
It's because immigration has been politicized in the U.S., and the average citizens' understanding of immigration is what they read in the news.
Which is fair, because immigration is a bureaucracy that the average citizen doesn't need to be an expert at, but this complexity makes it easier for misinformation to spread about it.
Whenever I get dicked around in the interviews by a potential employer, I start to suspect ulterior motives. One time, for my own amusement, I asked to see their H1B public records. The company immediately got very defensive, and got their lawyer involved just long enough to hastily research what I was talking about, assemble the records, and set up all the flaming hoops I would have to jump through in order to see them. It was almost like they were hiding something. I didn't actually want to see the records, I just wanted to see that they were willing to show them (or that they didn't have records because they didn't have any H1B employees).
It was a lot like asking a toddler who ate the last cookie in the jar, and watching them hide their hands from you as they say, "Maybe it was the invisible ghost ninjas." I don't need that level of immaturity in an employer.
I suspect there are other reasons why you're being rejected. This seems like paranoid thinking. Most companies won't provide a rejection reason as a matter of policy.
I only asked after it was already clear I was no longer being considered, and I (politely) asked for some feedback on the interview. They wouldn't say one thing about it, good or bad--wall of silence. So, as is common with whiteboard interviews, I threw out something unexpected to see how they would react. The fact that they reacted so poorly made me feel better about their rejection. It's not me; it's them. I didn't just fail to impress. Instead, I unknowingly avoided a future disaster.
I naturally proceed under the assumption that there is nothing actually wrong with me, as a person or as a candidate for employment. From my perspective, I am a normal person, and a competent software professional. I can be pleasant and sociable. I have been on enough interviews to get a sense of what is "normal" and what is strange--even strange for a tech interview. Usually, that determination only happens after the fact, or very late in the process, but I can still eventually tell when something was out of place.
So when I haven't done anything that would make it clear to me that I have blown the interview, and the company won't give me a reason for rejection, or even suggest one thing that I could improve upon, I naturally take that to mean that there is something wrong with the company. At the least, they are simply too rude to give a candidate any kind of (possibly helpful to them) feedback afterward. But they could also be concealing an unethical hiring practice behind a wall of corporate policy and plausible deniability. There's no way for me to know, and I don't really care by the time I get to that point. There are way too many other companies out there willing to go out on a first date to sit and stew over the ones that won't return your phone calls.
I can't even remember the name of the company now. Which is unfortunate, because I'd have to search through old e-mails to avoid accidentally applying to them again.
At the time, I was toying with the idea of using a company's public H1B records as a way to give me an advantage in salary negotiations. After seeing the reaction of this one company, I decided not to do that.
Their new employer has only to file the paperwork to transfer their visa, so your assumptions about retaining H1B workers are not very accurate.
In one workplace & location in the US: The H1B workers were...not very good. Adequate, and hard working, but not highly skilled and they were brought in mainly because the location didn't want to/couldn't pay wages good enough to hire skilled US-based talent. There the H1B workers were (in general) fearful and unwilling to complain, because they knew their personal odds of getting another US gig were NOT guaranteed. This left me understanding the various H1B complaints, as the workplace was terrible.
In another workplace in a different US location, the H1B workers were equal or better than any US-citizens working there. The workers were highly sought after and were interested in speaking up to make the workplace better. Switching jobs for them WAS a hassle, but a very doable hassle, so the workplace had keep them as happy as non-H1B workers. This left me understanding the OTHER side of the H1B issues, as these workers raised up rather than lowered their workplaces.
I've had multiple friends spend months uncertain if their visas would be renewed (Most companies seem to employ offshore lawyers to handle the visas on the other ends, and I've heard some horror stories about those lawyers sometimes vanishing, or misfiling). Also, I've had friends that had to stay put in a job during a certain phase of getting their green cards - a change in job title would reportedly move them back to the end of the queue of that step. (No idea about the specifics)
All in all, I've found it pretty hard to generalize about H1B workers and the process as an entire whole.
The former H1B workers probably were in the US as an onsite assignment or through a consultancy/contractor. Most Indian consultancies view people as warm bodies on the chair. Which is why you find people with fewer skills.
The latter workers are most likely people who relocated to the US for education or were hired from India from a US employer because of their skills.
It's odd that the suit alleges that white people are discriminated against relative to Indians yet those that are hired are paid more.
Citations from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa
Wow. Why do you think someone on H1B will agree for a lower wage assuming he/she has a good skill set to get into oracle or similar company?
Changing to a diff job on H1B involves some paper work which everyone is used to do now. If we are talking about Indian consulting companies getting low wage employees, it might be partially true.
People in the country on an H1B lose their lawful status immediately after their employment ends, which means being unemployed for any period of time carries risk of deportation. Most people don't want a change in their work situation to translate into being forced to leave their country of residence.
Between these two points, I'd expect people here on an H1B to have a narrower field of jobs that seem attractive - high-risk startups aren't going to be appealing to most, and to generally be less mobile than those who don't fear deportation if a new position doesn't work out. Because of this decreased mobility, employers can get away with paying less.
I hate this argument. All immigration has a first-degree effect of lowering wages, because it increases the supply of labor.
Believe me, foreigners do not like H1Bs, its a piece of shit, and would wish for free passage or as easy as it can be. And if that happened, that would lower wages of everyone, and raise theirs. Reneging that h1b allows to hire cheaper people is reneging immigration.
You want to raise the wages of foreigners, just give them more freedom to change companies, so the parent company will not have as much leverage. But thats not the compnies fault, thats the governments fault. Its the government that suppresses wages in a very negative way.
> Can the DOL back up this claim with salary data to see if Oracle is abusing the H1-B visa system by purposefully keeping wages low?
Readers should note that this is purely your own conjecture. The H1-B visa system is not relevant to this story.
what it says in https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ofccp/ofccp20170118-0
"The suit also challenges Oracle’s systemic practice of favoring Asian workers in its recruiting and hiring practices for product development and other technical roles, which resulted in hiring discrimination against non-Asian applicants."