A person who described himself as an Asian hiring manager at a FAANG company — an acronym for stocks of U.S. tech companies Facebook, Amazon, Apple Netflix and Google — admitted that he gives “URM” job candidates a hard time during interviews, according to a post on an anonymous community workplace app.
URM or “Underrepresented Minority” is a U.S. citizen who identifies as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or American Indian.
The poster made sure to point out he was not with Amazon when posting on Blind, the app where he felt emboldened to admit his racist behavior.
For junior hires such as interns or graduates, the poster said he “will choose my questions based on the race and gender of the interview.” He admitted to asking Asians and white males the standard questions. He said he even gives them “hints” as to how to answer.
But for applicants who are not Asian or white, he wrote, “I will give a very difficult and open-ended hard question.” For what he described as “semi-diverse (Asian/white women or Hispanic male),” he added, “I may go with the easy style…depending on whether I feel this person is a diversity hire…”
He continued, “If they are about a diversity hire (HBCU + Google STEP/Microsoft Explore/etc.), my standards will be extremely high”.
He conducts interviews this way, the writer said, as “counter-acting the actions of affiliate action/diversity hire. They’ve stolen spots from Asian/white men in the past therefore, I will try to make it even.”
The Asian tech manager’s remarks sparked major discussion on Twitter.
Angie Jones, former head of developer relations at software testing platform Applitools, tweeted, “this is why I find it so delusional when ppl assume any Black techie was given anything bc of diversity quotas Even if the hiring mgr aims for diversity, if a Black person gets it, they were vetted more intensely and is 2x+ better than the competition”.
Others called out Asians in tech who have problems with affirmative action.
“Asians who have a problem with affirmative action should start off at the same place as Black America — slavery, work their way up to being 3/5ths a person, and then earn each & every constitutional right just like we did! We still have cotton fields in Texas – get to work!” tweeted WenGuangLie @guang_lie,
The anonymous admission didn’t surprise others. “Doesn’t surprise me at all” tweeted Uhlume A.D.O.S.@Behembaba. “People are convinced Negroes (ADOS) only get hired via affirmative action & that we are not qualified. The amount of arguments I’ve had working in Healthcare defending myself smh. Meanwhile mediocre yt & POC are hired & overpaid. Ugh”.
“Now y’all see why I have no empathy for men in STEM? Especially the whites, asians, and wasians/hapas? I have to downright emasculate them in every fact and gaslight 24/7 just to get a crumb of respect. And I’ve been doing it for YEARS. Most of my life,” tweeted CinemaHoCrunch@ho_crunch.
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Despite numerous initiatives, Silicon Valley still has a diversity problem.
Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter have been publishing diversity reports for more than six years, yet the numbers of Black workers have not seen significant increases. Black representation is still in the low single digits, according to a CNBC analysis in 2020 of the annual disclosures.
“Every year they put out the same diversity report, check the box, then send out the same report the next year,” said Freada Kapor Klein, founding partner at Kapor Capital. “We’re at a crucial crossroads — I don’t think what tech companies have done to date is anywhere near enough.”