At what point is it a good thing to be a minority? Are gains from a minority position any less valid than those gained without the forced advantage? As a white woman who has grown up privileged in the suburbs and who predominantly studied theatre in college, I’ve never felt like a minority. If anything, there were always too many white girls who looked and performed just like me. All this changed about a year ago when I enrolled in business school. With only 40 percent of total applicants nationally checking the “F” box for two year MBA programs, it makes sense why women are a minority in business school. While that percentage has grown over time and schools are making a concerted effort to recruit for more qualified female students, the fact remains that most schools skew male.
Utah in particular has a gender diversity problem in business schools (which, unfortunately, should come as no surprise to those who go to school in the state). The state’s two largest business schools rank in the bottom 10 of US News’ male/female ratios. I do not regret my choice to attend business school in Utah, however, and I have benefited from the connections I have made from students of every gender in the last year. For the most part, I feel like just any other student — applying for jobs, studying for classes, and networking with friends over pizza and foosball. Every so often, however, the diversity matter pops up, whether to my detriment or benefit. In this case, it was arguably a benefit.
Even with limited experience in the tech sector, I applied to a tech firm in Utah with the hopes of interviewing for a full time position. I was elated when I found out that I had gotten one of the coveted interview slots. However, I found out that some of my more qualified (white male) classmates had been passed over for a large number of female students who, on paper at least, had limited to no directly relevant experience either in the industry, position, or both. The diversity issue faced by business schools is even more pronounced in the technology sector, which is probably why this firm was looking to interview more women.
I ended up passing on the interview (for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with my gender), but I keep thinking about the effects of diversity hiring. I don’t want to discredit the other women who ended up hiring. The HR representative could have been more concerned with something else (cultural fit, unconventional backgrounds, etc.) rather than direct experience. But I can’t feeling like the game was rigged. Part of me is grateful for the rising change that is happening in business (and the world at large). Women are fighting to be heard and fighting for representation. There are both male and female advocates for a more pronounced female presence and companies are looking to balance out their employee pool. I am excited to live in a time where women are given more opportunities to lead and contribute. Personally, however, I want to be sure I merit whatever achievements I gain. I want to get a job because I am qualified for the position and whoever hires me believes I can excel in the position. I don’t want to get a free pass because I happen to have ovaries.
Should there be two applicants, each equally qualified and suitable for the position, and one happens to be female, then a company with skewed gender ratios should hire the woman. There is a dearth of female leadership in corporate America and that won’t change unless women are hired. I agree with all that. But from my experience, I don’t want my gender to be treated like a handicap. Maybe this is the competitive side of me coming out — the part that insists on fairness at the expense of kid gloves and preferential treatment. But if I were hired knowing that other applicants were turned away only on the basis of gender, I would second guess my performance in the position. It would feel like ill-gotten gains.
Am I alone in this sentiment? Does mishandled diversity hiring rig the game, or is all fair in the interest of gender equality?
Andrea R. (Blog Team) is the proud mother of two living sons, aged 9 and 7, and Ethan, who passed away in early February 2014. She is currently working as a freelance science writer and blogger and will begin a PhD program in Science Education at the University of Central Florida in Fall 2014. When she's not juggling the laundry, her writing work, and the busy lives of her little boys, she likes to squeeze in a triathlon now and then. Also, her husband rocks.
Read all posts (40) by Andrea R.
Web site: http://www.microbiologymaven.com
Angela (Advisory Board) grew up in Utah, then moved to Minnesota, then came back to Utah, then packed up her husband and four kids and moved to Minnesota--again!-- in the summer of 2010. Although she loves the Land of 10,000 Lakes, she dearly misses Slurpees, Sunday dinners at her Mom's house, and eating a whole entire Cafe Rio pork salad while lunching with her Utah-based Segullah sisters. And yes, she finds it telling that everything she misses about her hometown is somehow related to food. She has an BA in English from BYU, an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University, and has taught writing to high school and college students.
Read all posts (68) by Angela
Ashley (Copy Editor) is a Virginia native now living in Boston. She graduated from BYU with degrees in broadcast journalism and home and family living, then spent three years writing and editing for magazines. After earning a master's degree in library science, Ashley now splits her time between motherhood, freelance writing and editing, and consuming dark chocolate.
Read all posts (12) by Ashley
Blue (Blog Team and Special Events Coordinator) is a single mom to two teenage delights, and friends with the very best people on earth. For work she flies around the country serving snacks and drinks and checking that seatbelts are fastened. Her favorite pastimes include creating stuff (eg, art, music, cakes) travel, reading in bed, and figuring life out one lesson at a time. And oh...like everyone else she knows, she entertains thoughts of becoming a writer someday (you thought she was going to say "photographer", didn't you?)
Read all posts (44) by Blue
Brooke (Blog Team) is attempting inner om with this writing stuff. Proud to claim four loud children, a patient husband and a fat black cat as family, she feels blessed to be their mommy-- their giver of kisses and baker of cookies. She is ever seeking a good novel and wishing for the sand between her toes, palm trees, the ocean.
Read all posts (78) by Brooke
Web site: http://brookebenton.blogspot.com
Catherine (Prose Board) has worked as a cherry sorter, file girl, piano teacher, writer, editor, and college professor. She currently works full-time as the art director, events planner, chauffeur, and referee for her four children. She spends a good deal of her time running—be it down the supermarket aisle after an escaped child, around the living room in a heated game of flag football, or on early-morning runs/therapy sessions with her neighborhood friends. She earned her BA and MA in English from BYU and her PhD in English from UMass Amherst.
Read all posts (70) by Catherine
Web site: http://bluestockingmama.blogspot.com/
Catherine A. (Blog Team) is a mother of five small children including two sets of twins. She and her husband spent nearly eight years in Northern Virginia, but now call Utah home. She reviews books for Meridian Magazine, writes for Power of Moms, dabbles in poetry and works on the prose editorial staff for Segullah. She blogs about her wild and precious life @ www.wildnprecious.com.
Read all posts (49) by Catherine A.
Web site: http://www.wildnprecious.com/
Christie (Publicity and Blog Team)
Read all posts (23) by Christie
Dalene (Blog Team) began blogging as a legitimate way to avoid housework and to keep a journal of sorts. In her other life she wants to be excellent at a number of things, but in this one she's settling for baking a mean sour cream lemon pie, keeping most of the points on her
quilt blocks in line, being a loyal friend and aspiring to moments of
goodness as a wife and mother.
Read all posts (72) by Dalene
Web site: http://www.compulsivewriter.com
Emily M. (Poetry Board) graduated from BYU in Comparative Literature, but it was long enough ago that most of what she learned has leaked out. She would like to mention other hobbies or interests, but to be honest she spends most of her free time reading (although she does enjoy attempting yoga). She used to blog at hearingvoices.wordpress.com. For now, though, Segullah is her only blogging home, and it's a good one.
Read all posts (144) by Emily M.
Guest Blog Segullah has been fortunate to have some excellent posts by Guest Authors.
Read all posts (242) by Guest
Heather O. (Prose Board) lives in the south with her husband, her two kids, and her wiggly black lab. She is a licensed speech language pathologist, but spends most of her days trying to teach her own kids how to say please and thank you. She is a member of the Segullah Editorial Board, and is the founding member of the blog Mormon Mommy Wars.
Read all posts (83) by Heather O.
Web site: http://www.mormonmommmywars.com
Jennie (Blog Team) was born and raised in Detroit, but is happy to call Austin, TX home now. She majored in Art History and Geography at BYU and graduated a week before having her first baby. There have been five more babies since then. Hildie is an avid baker and tries to fatten up the people she loves. After years of "Mommy this", "Mommy that" Hildie is delighted to finally be waking her brain up for some other use.
Read all posts (88) by Jennie
Web site: http://beehiveandbirdsnest.blogspot.com/
Jennie L (Prose Board) is from Salt Lake. Teaching high school English has taught her many things, including how to sing the parts of speech, and break up hall fights, but perhaps most important, spending her days with words and writing continually reinforces their power. Give her a beach, some dark chocolate, friends and family and she'll be one happy girl.
Read all posts (33) by Jennie L
Web site: http://listsandlines.com/
Jessie (Blog Team) served a mission in Spain and graduated from BYU with bachelor's degrees in Spanish Translation and English, as well as a master's in Spanish Literature. She currently works full-time at a university library and is working on a master's degree in library science. In her spare moments of free time, she nurtures her three children, one cat, and a fluctuating number of fish. She relaxes by reading, baking, canning fruit, and putting together jigsaw puzzles.
Read all posts (51) by Jessie
Web site: http://foxyj.blogspot.com
Justine D. (Advisory Board) is a mother to five children, and has a husband lodged somewhere (probably in the den). She is not very fond of speaking of herself in third person.
Read all posts (122) by Justine D.
Web site: http://segullah.org
Karen (Blog Team) After living in UT, HI, CA, DC, VA, WI, & WV, Karen now lives in KS with her family. During the week, she blogs about aging, teaches as an adjunct for WSU's Aging Studies program, and socializes with older adults. On the weekend, she enjoys connecting with the sisters in her ward because they possess divine gifts and are full of good works.
Read all posts (29) by Karen
Web site: http://thegenerationaboveme.blogspot.com/
Kathryn Soper (Founding Editor) is the author of the memoir The Year My Son and I Were Born (Globe Pequot Press, 2009) and the editor of four published anthologies. She contributes to Mormon forums from Meridian Magazine to Sunstone on a variety of topics including gender issues, disability, mental health, sexuality, family life, and spirituality.
Read all posts (80) by Kathryn Soper
Web site: http://kathrynlynardsoper.com
Katie (Blog Team)
Read all posts (6) by Katie
Kellie (Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at selwynssanity.blogspot.com as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.
Read all posts (128) by Kellie
Web site: http://selwynssanity.blogspot.com
Leslie (Art Director) In her pre-diapering days, Leslie earned an MS in Marriage and Family Studies from BYU. This entitled her to mold the minds of impressionable college students in rambling six-hour lecture courses and travel the world as child life specialist. She now passes the seasons in a quaint Massachusetts town with her husband, Allen, and three young sons. She spends her days encouraging play, championing global causes, and whipping up a mean R2D2 cake. She savors her nights, stealing away to her studio to paint.
Read all posts (56) by Leslie
Web site: http://www.smartmama.blogspot.com/
Linda (Prose Board) splits her time between the mountains of Utah and the prairies of Illinois, generally confounding the postal service. She compiles inspiring collections of LDS women talking about topics dear to (or prickly in) LDS women's hearts (visiting teaching, Relief Society, motherhood, etc.) through Cedar Fort Publishing. She also writes for children ("Come with Me on Halloween"), illustrates, writes poetry, plays with fabric and can be bribed with dark chocolate.
Read all posts (62) by Linda
Lisa G. (Poetry Board, Blog Team) is mother to six and grandmother to ten. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and loves travelling, reading, napping in puddles of sun, strawberries and dark chocolate, and most of all, Jesus.
Read all posts (27) by Lisa G.
Melissa Y. (Emerita) is a native of Utah and lives in Mapleton with her husband and four children. She is currently working toward an MA in TESOL at BYU (and feels that is far too many acronyms for one sentence).
Read all posts (54) by Melissa Y.
Melissa Dalton-Bradford (Poetry Board)
Read all posts (6) by Melissa Dalton-Bradford
Melissa M (Advisory Board) grew up in Australia and California and now lives in Provo, Utah with her husband, four children, and their dog, Daisy. She served a mission in Peru and has a BA and MA in English from BYU. She loves reading, writing, and quiet afternoons. She does not love grocery shopping. Now that two of her children attend BYU and her youngest children are in high school and junior high, she is trying to adjust to this "emptying nest" stage and still wondering how it snuck up on her so fast.
Read all posts (43) by Melissa M
Melonie (Poetry Board) When not out on errands, Melonie lives in a white house with a bearded husband, one bagpiper, one Spelling Bee champion, one Irish dancer, and one "minecraft" addict. They call her "Sweetheart" or "Mom." She is pleased with both titles. She received her M.Ed from the University of Utah and has taught school and writing classes. She has lived in El Salvador, Italy, Washington, and Germany, but her favorite place is a hidden spot in the Uintahs. She has had too many strange hobbies and interests over the years to list here, but she is currently into inventing recipes, making healing potions with essential oils, and dreaming about a new front door. She blogs when the moon is full at www.meloniesmind.blogspot.com or when something funny happens to her, which she wishes was more often.
Read all posts (30) by Melonie
Web site: http://www.meloniesmind.blogspot.com
Michelle L. (Blog Team) never folds laundry and her car is a mess. She runs through the streets of Salt Lake City, UT, takes lots of photos, plays Uno with her five fabulous boys and buys way too many dresses for the little princess. Her husband is the most romantic man in the world because he does all the Costco shopping AND hauls it into the house (sorry to make you jealous girls). She writes at Scenes from the Wild.
Read all posts (122) by Michelle L.
Web site: http://www.scenesfromthewild.blogspot.com
Rosalyn (Prose Board) currently lives in Southern Utah with her husband and three small children, where she teaches writing part-time at the local university. She has a BA in English from BYU, and an MA and PhD (also in English) from Penn State. She served a mission in the Hungary Budapest mission. In her spare time (what's that?) she likes to read, write, try new recipes (as long as she doesn't have to clean up), watch movies with her husband (British period drama is her favorite), go for walks, and generally avoid anything that resembles housework. Her debut novel, THE BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, comes out fall 2016 from Knopf.
Read all posts (64) by Rosalyn
Web site: http://www.rosalyneves.blogspot.com
Sandra (Co-Editor-in-Chief) recently moved back to California by way of Texas, Baltimore and San Francisco. She runs without shoes, is passionate about produce, and struggles to take pictures with her eyes open.
Read all posts (110) by Sandra
Web site: http://www.segullah.org
Sarita (Prose Board)
Read all posts (10) by Sarita
Shelah (Co-Editor-in-Chief) lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and six kids. She has a BA in English Teaching from BYU, an MA in American Culture Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MFA in Creative Writing at BYU. Her work has been published in Dialogue, the Mormon Women Project, Irreantum, BYU Studies, and Segullah. When she’s not writing or wrangling, she can often be found running through the city in the pre-dawn darkness.
Read all posts (136) by Shelah
Web site: http://shelahbooksit.blogspot.com