Opinions on my conversation with DP please, re job quotas

(135 Posts)
MumblingMummy Sun 20-Oct-13 23:13:42

OK, Im feeling a bit upset tonight following a 'lively' discussion with DP earlier about job quotas. He commented on a newspaper article and he said 'Im sick of this PC rubbish, trying to get women and black people jobs just for the sake of quotas. If theyre any good theyll get the job on merit.'
Now, I happen to agree with quotas as without them, I dont see how minorities are ever going to achieve equality of opportunity. His response? Life is tough! I mentioned white male privilage and the wider argument but he just raised his voice and refused to see that things need to change. I think Im just disappointed in him and have a sneaking suspicion that he's not the man I thought he was. <looks eagerly for support>

slug Mon 21-Oct-13 10:51:12
MumblingMummy Mon 21-Oct-13 12:03:48

Slug that's a really good website (if a little depressing in its accuracy).

kim147 Mon 21-Oct-13 12:35:22

Some good cartoons there. I like the LGBT ones. Depressingly accurate.

sashh Mon 21-Oct-13 16:01:43

Equal Ops is all about making sure that the playing field is level for all and changing that is illegal unless certain prescribed conditions are satisfied.

Actually it isn't, and changing it is not illegal.

BasilBabyEater Mon 21-Oct-13 17:09:18

You don't have to consciously tell yourself that to believe it Radagast.

That's the joy of privilege. You don't have to be aware that you've got it. And when someone from a non-privileged group points it out to you, you can tell them they have a chip on their shoulder.

Win win.

BasilBabyEater Mon 21-Oct-13 17:11:06

this is one of my fave cartoons

It's about white privilege but you can equally apply it to male privilege.

Sausageeggbacon Mon 21-Oct-13 17:26:57

I think a lot of people here should rein in their middle class privilege, the issue always is about a tiny amount of jobs at the top. WHy are not talking about the jobs lower down the career tree that seem to be filled by women? I have noticed particularly with politicians that they are so wrapped up in themselves that they do nothing for women. Look at the behaviour of Rachel Reeves who got parachuted into a safe Labour sit and just seems to go through the motions.

She has no grasp of the reality of her constituents and the difficulties families face. Rather than pulling other women up her attitude stinks of keeping the masses down. Notice that no one here is campaigning for the women working in cleaning or catering. After all they are just working class so feminism can ignore them? Rather than a top down approach I think it would have much more impact if it was driven from the grass roots up.

KoPo Mon 21-Oct-13 17:44:01

he doesnt think all black people are lazy, just the ones he works with (about eight)!

That speaks volumes about him in my opinion. But no I dont think bloody quotas are the way to go. I disagree with them intensely for a variety of reasons. I don't actually think there is such a true thing as positive discrimination. To me it is all just discrimination on one front or another.

BasilBabyEater Mon 21-Oct-13 17:45:07

WTF are you talking about?

Loads of feminists are engaged in loads of different campaigns.

72% of government cuts fall on women - mostly working class women.

Assuming that because feminists here are articulate and well-informed, they can't possibly be working class or poor, must be one of the most snobby attitudes there is.

BasilBabyEater Mon 21-Oct-13 17:45:39

Sorry cross posted with KoPo

BasilBabyEater Mon 21-Oct-13 17:46:49

Also, I am not friends with Rachel Reeves. I have never made her acquaintance. grin

KaseyM Mon 21-Oct-13 18:10:02

It sounds to me that your DH doesn't see it because he hasn't experienced it. But ask him how he would explain the current imbalance in the type of jobs that men and women take on. I mean something must be going on....

You either believe that this gender imbalance exists because men and women are made for different roles or you believe that something skew-wiff is going on in the birth-to-adult pathway.

And if you believe in the latter the next logical step is to ask yourself what is it that happens to make things so different and how can we make things more even, whether that be with quotas or through changing things from the ground up.

And if none of this bothers him at all, then he's lacking somewhat in empathy! And I'm sorry about that!

KaseyM Mon 21-Oct-13 18:13:09

If someone else tells me that because I'm a feminist I must be middle class I'm gonna scream!!

tribpot Tue 22-Oct-13 08:03:59

Yes, the OP's DP seems to have a touch of the Godfrey Blooms about him - believing that jobs are doled out strictly on the basis of who's best at finding the mustard in the pantry.

samandi Tue 22-Oct-13 09:12:19

if they're any good they'll get the job on merit

Erm, no, not necessarily. In a world where four equally qualified candidates apply for a job, the employer (who is likely to be male and white) is likely to pick the one that most resembles them (male and white).

skrumle Tue 22-Oct-13 09:40:11

In a world where four equally qualified candidates apply for a job, the employer (who is likely to be male and white) is likely to pick the one that most resembles them (male and white)

i think it's more than that - i think we all internalise "expectations". so, a man and a woman in scrubs walk into a room and you know one is a doctor and one is a nurse - most people will assume the man is the doctor. i've experienced sexism in my work from other women because most people doing my job are men and are (significantly) older than me. it's not deliberate, but just a reaction to how you expect things to be, and the disconnect obviously jars sometimes.

i think in a job interview situation for a senior/promoted post, very often women and non-white men are expected to prove themselves in a way that white men aren't - because the starting perception is different.

larrygrylls Tue 22-Oct-13 17:28:41

Skrumle,

I can see that as a reason for better interview and interview monitoring, not quotas. I think quotas can be a benefit for a short while and in very specific situations. However, after that they are both unfair and counterproductive. It is about equality of opportunity, not of outcome.

If you take South Africa for an example, it is clear to see why they introduced quotas and why it made sense to do so. Now, many years later, the quotas merely serve as jobs for the boys (well connected politically) and your doctor/dentist/lawyer is highly likely to be a well educated white South African who knows he has zero chance of securing a good job in SA.

I think that quotas by sex are not sensible in the UK, except possibly in a very small number of areas. I am torn re politicians, for instance. I do see that more even representation by sex makes sense and it is out of kilter right now. On the other hand, being beaten by someone because of a characteristic rather than ability really hurts and is not conducive to a harmonious society.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Tue 22-Oct-13 18:00:13

The fact of the matter is that, by the time you are in the late stages of interviewing candidates for a role, the chances are most of them could do the job perfectly well. The final decision between candidates is usually subjective in some way. I think it's very unlikely that incompetent women would beat competent men simply because of a quota.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Tue 22-Oct-13 18:05:37

I've turned down job offers in the past, I know they've shrugged and offered it to the next person on the list; I've also been the next person on the list who stepped in when the first choice candidate got a preferred offer.

I don't think "this is what happened in a completely different cultural context" is a strong argument against quotas. For one, I don't think we're at the stage where women are getting "jobs for the boys" owing to their political power.

grimbletart Tue 22-Oct-13 18:14:04

On the other hand, being beaten by someone because of a characteristic rather than ability really hurts and is not conducive to a harmonious society.

How true, as women down the ages have found smile.

Actually, I am not typical on this board as I don't particularly like quotas, because even if a woman is top notch a quota in operation can mean she is viewed with suspicion. I certainly would not have wanted to benefit from it. However, in some circumstances it looks as if it may be the only way to ensure equal opps. if there is a persistence in overlooking female talent by companies who can't get past a clone mentality.

kim147 Tue 22-Oct-13 18:17:10

Well I have another interview this week. Trans unemployment is very high cf the rest of the population. And like I said, the council does not even bother to monitor it.

TheDoctrineOfSpike Tue 22-Oct-13 19:10:31

Yeah, grimble's first sentence.

Kim, do you know if other councils monitor that metric?

kim147 Tue 22-Oct-13 19:19:29

None of the 4 near me do. I think some do but none of my local ones.

FloraFox Tue 22-Oct-13 20:00:51

Doctrine: "The fact of the matter is that, by the time you are in the late stages of interviewing candidates for a role, the chances are most of them could do the job perfectly well. The final decision between candidates is usually subjective in some way. I think it's very unlikely that incompetent women would beat competent men simply because of a quota."

Totally agree. As jobs become more senior, there are generally more people qualified for them than there are senior jobs. It's a nonsense to suggest that incompetent people would have jobs if there were quotas.

BasilBabyEater Tue 22-Oct-13 22:01:07

"I think in a job interview situation for a senior/promoted post, very often women and non-white men are expected to prove themselves in a way that white men aren't - because the starting perception is different."

Yes, the starting point is that white men are natural leaders, competent, reliable and that the woman/ non-white person may have got there by some sort of fluke so we'd better be more careful about him/ her.

I remember once having a subject teacher who wildly over-estimated my ability in her subject and wildly under-estimated that of a classmate (I'll call her N). This is because I was very good at everything else grin so she expected me to be very good at what she taught, while my classmate was only average at most things, but she was passionate and excellent at this particular subject. My teacher didn't even want to let her do the A Level because she didn't think she was good enough.

Every time I said or wrote the bleedin' obvious, I got credit for covering the basics, while my classmate got a "FFS, that's so bleedin' obvious why are you bothering, that's as far as you can go, you'll only ever be able to deal with the basics, you can't possibly handle the complexities" look. When she got a higher mark than me for the A Level, our teacher was astonished, but we weren't - we knew she'd been favouring me and underestimating N.

That's what happens with white men versus other groups all the way through life. The difference being, that I knew it was happening even though I was 16-18 and many of them don't, even if they're 60 hmm (largely because they don't want to know). And of course, that at some point we got assessed by someone who assessed us purely on our ability, not on what s/he thought she knew about us. That never happens in real life.

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