“Minorities strongly encouraged to apply…”

What are employers attempting to say when they tack the phrase “women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply” onto the end of a job posting? Are they strongly encouraging those who are actually of the minority in terms of bi/multi-racial folks, latino/a, gays or lesbians, persons with disabilities etc.? I’ll wager to guess that they are typically speaking directly to women of color. If so, are employers encouraging women of color to apply because they value diversity in the true sense of the word, or because they need a woman of color to fulfill their quota?

To me, this statement reads as a covert way to meet a quota. I view it as a hollow and ineffectual attempt to put a sticker over the actual issue at hand – white privilege and minority oppression. It’s a statement that may actually be preventing attracting the diverse work force it apparently desires by implemented strategies specifically designed to attract people of color.

Others I’ve spoken with felt it to be a reflection of the company’s attempt to weed those out who may be uncomfortable in a diverse environments as the statement serves to reflect the current culture of the company. I’m curious what others think when they read this statement – especially curious about what white males think when they read this?

3 thoughts on ““Minorities strongly encouraged to apply…”

  1. I’ve never seen this on a job listing before and it looks of questionable motives to me but I would take a look at the current employees of the company/type of company using this statement in a job posting before I tried to decide the true underlying message. I would think there would be many other qualifications for a job that would rank higher than the importance of gender, race and sexual orientation (and I thought it was illegal to discriminate against people based on this when hiring).


  2. When I worked for the FAA, I always “thought” (without really thinking) that they have to say that to satisfy a verbiage requirement of some sort. Now as a business owner and a leader of sorts, I would want to find the words to encourage someone to not count themselves out before I had the chance to count them in. I’m sure it would end up even more clumsy and potentially off-putting than this, but that’s what my intent would be.


  3. A previous commenter said:
    “and I thought it was illegal to discriminate against people based on this when hiring”

    As a white male, I know my opinion won’t matter to most people because, well, I must be a privileged rich white guy right? But anyway, it is illegal. However, it is not enforced with regard to white males.
    Most white males know, whether they say it or not, that Diversity = Anti-White. Period.
    I’ve been passed up many times for promotion by women, minorities, female minorities that a high school diploma and no experience. I have a bachelors degree and experience in the field. No brainer. But not to HR Departments. Institutionalized racism against white males is blatantly acceptable. They don’t do a great job of hiding it either. Nor do they care. I’ve seen that type of job ad before too, with the “we encourage minorities, women, LGBTQ, etc etc”. To apply. That’s blatant enough to me that I won’t even bother applying bc I know what they’re looking for from the ad. How is that legal? Seriously. Technically it isn’t, but we all know that its ok to do that to white males. The white male has to be an ACE to get the job. Ten jobs open up in a company?….the white guy isn’t competing for ten jobs….he’s competing for one spot, two if he’s lucky, and that white guy has to be an ACE. Because he’s competing against other white guys for that one-two spots. It’s no longer based on the best person for the job. It’s based on what best for minorities and women.


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