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A Needed Change

By: Jasmine Macklin

April 21, 2017

From the time, African people stepped foot on American soil, they were at the bottom of

the totem pole. Over time, the evolved order of value in America is: white men, black men, white

women, then at last black women. As everyone was progressing in success and value, black

women were barely seeing any change to their own lives. Women in general are still fighting for

equal pay and rights in the work field, but black women specifically have to go the extra mile for

equal rights.

The Anti-Discrimination Policy needs a few aspects added to it. In the job application

process, the questions asking for the applicant to identify with a certain gender and race is

detrimental to many peoples future. Those two features need to be removed. In the Anti-

Discrimination Policy it prohibits the discrimination against people because of their race, sex,

disability, age etc. But to employers who are prejudice to a certain people, the application

process gives them a way to not give people a chance when they are qualified for the position.
This process causes many people to be turned away before they were even given a chance to

show what they bring to the table.

The Root stated that currently in the United States black women are the most educated

group in the country. But even though they are the most educated, a recent study found that

black women make up just 8 percent of private sector jobs and less than 2 percent of leadership

roles (Helm). So, if black women are evidently the most qualified because of their success in

schooling, why are they not the leading group in these positions? This is because they were not

able to succeed because of the job application stopping them. Even though they are qualified or

even over qualified they were discriminated against because of their skin and gender.

In society, there are many stereotypes about black women. The angry black woman or

bossy black women stigmas are in the heads of the employee as they see the applicant has

checked off African American and Female for their options. Black women are being judged

before they are even given a chance to speak to the members of the business. Comments like

She will not be a good fit is very common phrase disputed between employers when denying a

black woman her position. They are judging by her physical attributes, and considering what

they think in their head and not if she is qualified for the job or not. In the court case Calhoun v.

Johnson this blatant discrimination is portrayed. An African American woman, Iona Calhoun was

denied an IT position and a less qualified Asian applicant was selected instead. The court found

that the employers defense seemed to be an excuse for racial discrimination (D.C. Cir.,

2011). Who one is as a person does not identify as their race or gender. If the gender and race

options in the job applications were removed, the employers would have the pressure of having a

credible excuse as to why they did not hire an applicant.

When black women do get in the positions that they initially intended to go after, when

they are there, many feel invisible. That is because they are outnumbered by people who are not

like them, so no one is necessarily advocating or supporting their views or opinions. I noticed

that sometimes if I were to say, Lets do A, the room would continue in its discussion. Id hear

that idea of mine coming out of someone elses mouth. And then the room would hear it,

understand it, and get behind it, Yvette Miley, senior vice president and executive editor of

MSNBC, said.

Forbes Magazine called black women the fasted growing entrepreneurs (OConnor).

This is because they saw they were not being hired for positions they knew they could master,

and decided to take matters into their own hands. These women wanted equal right and pay, so if

the corporate world was not giving that to them, they must get it for themselves. And that is

exactly what they did, from oil companies, to hair salons, to restaurants, massage therapy

business, anything one can think of.

The question will come up about companies needing minorities to make their company

diverse, how will they know that if race is taken out of the application process. When race and

gender is taken out of the application process, all applicants will receive equal opportunity for

the position, without the employer interfering with their biased views before the interview.

Even though black women are not progressing the same rate as other groups, they will

obtain full control eventually. Black women are resilient when it comes to the system that does

not want to see them proper. But when the system is known, it is broken and then replaced.
Works Cited

"FindLaw's United States DC Circuit Case and Opinions." Findlaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr.


Helm, Angela Bronner. "Black Women Now the Most Educated Group in US." The Root., 05 June 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.

Inclusion, Office Of Diversity and. "Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)." Secretary's EEO,

Diversity, and No FEAR. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

O'Connor, Clare. "Inside One Woman Investor's Plan To Get Black Female Founders

Funding." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

Purdie-Vaughns, Valerie. "Corporate America Is Treating Black Women as

Invisible." Corporate America Is Treating Black Women as Invisible |

Fortune, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.