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  1. #1
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    Default Height Discrimination

    I've often wondered why height discrimination is ignored so much more than other types of discrimination. I understand why it's not as much of a hot topic, of course, but to be ignored this much seems strange.

    Focusing on careers and the work place, some studies show that height has a greater effect on income and general success than gender and race. I've heard it said sometimes that workplace discrimination of both gender and race combined, don't match height alone.

    There's many more studies than these, but here's two examples:-

    The effect of physical height on workplace success... [J Appl Psychol. 2004] - PubMed result
    http://www.ufstudies.net/tim/VITA/He...0published.pdf
    Workplace rewards tall people with money, respect, UF study shows

    There are some other forms of discrimination that are often ignored as well, such as attractiveness, name, voice etc.

    The ultimate way of dealing with them all, seems to be deriving methods that take all the variables unrelated to job performance, and ignoring them for the purposes of income and promotions. It seems like sometimes, discrimination should be dealt with as one entity, rather than split into its many forms as it usually is.

    It's a simple feminist principle. Hire the person who's best suited to the job, and who will perform the best at it. Sometimes that does involve discriminating based on gender, race, sexuality, height and such, but rarely is that the case. It likely involves proving each variable you judge with is actually correlated to job performance.

    I'm sure there are many complexities and problems involved in eliminating such discrimination. And I'm sure many selection processes, say a senior staff member evaluating junior staff, are inherently riddled with prejudices and subjectivity, which may not be possible to remove any time soon, without crippling the complex process that such selections can often be for good reason.

    There's also the argument that companies have the right to discriminate on those variables unrelated to job performance. Though I think it is in their best interests not to do so, regardless.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    No more rules please. I think companies should be allowed to discriminate all they want in hiring practices (sex, race, age, etc). If they pass on superior employees due to discrimination, it's their loss.

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    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    We need a thread on discrimination discrimination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    No more rules please. I think companies should be allowed to discriminate all they want in hiring practices (sex, race, age, etc). If they pass on superior employees due to discrimination, it's their loss.
    Fair enough. But let's say a company wants to eliminate these forms of discrimination within itself. How would it go about it?

    It's a reasonable desire, to have the most effective employees possible, but a lot of methods would cause huge inefficiencies. You'd have to make sure the gain outweighs the loss, and I guess the permanency of such a system would do that, but getting them invested in the short term is a different issue.

    How easy it is to measure the benefits of such a system is another issue entirely. It's certainly a lot easier to measure the hindrances it would cause. They're a lot more noticeable as well.

    Anyway, quoting fiction stories never helps. 1984 is the usual culprit, but that one is just as unrealistic. I could quote stories that show how amazing it is to hire the most efficient employees by eliminating discrimination. I could write one. It means nothing.

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    Voice discrimination I can sort of understand. I mean if the person's unattractive, you can just look away and focus on an object while he/she's talking, but you really can't compensate for an awkward voice.

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    It's funny, i'm pretty short but i have never really noticed any discrimination regarding pay rates. I have noticed that big guys get protective over me, but i usually bite their ankles and they learn their lesson.
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Fair enough. But let's say a company wants to eliminate these forms of discrimination within itself. How would it go about it?
    You've asked a question that can't be answered. The answer would vary for each case.

    Anyway, quoting fiction stories never helps. 1984 is the usual culprit, but that one is just as unrealistic. I could quote stories that show how amazing it is to hire the most efficient employees by eliminating discrimination. I could write one. It means nothing.
    I didn't quote a fiction story. I gave a link to a wikipedia article on a fiction story.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #9

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    I once read something interesting about reasons why tall people tend to earn more in general, it was implied that it had something to do with assertiveness and leadership roles in childhood. I think it was in Freakonomics.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by visaisahero View Post
    I once read something interesting about reasons why tall people tend to earn more in general, it was implied that it had something to do with assertiveness and leadership roles in childhood. I think it was in Freakonomics.
    This? How’s the View Up There?: A Q&A With the Author of The Tall Book - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

    Tall folks earn $789 more per inch per year, a figure that’s stayed steady for the past five decades in both the U.S. and U.K. And I found that much of it is behavioral. Tall people consistently display a few behaviors that are directly correlated to success, which can be mimicked by anyone. For example, sociologists find that coworkers tend to give tall people four feet of personal space, about the same amount they give to their bosses. And tall people are also more likely to be the “leader” in any group, whether choosing a lunch spot or a corporate takeover target, a habit that develops young, when other children naturally relate to tall kids as older peers.
    Interested stuff. Whilst I don't think the correlation can be explained away by that, it's certainly a factor that needs to be taken into account. For example, perhaps some of those traits are perceived because of prejudice, rather than actually being there. The personal space part certainly suggests that element is present.

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