examples of employment discrimination

Self-Awareness Tests — Whom Do You Discriminate Against?

LinkedIn profile photos can open the door to explicit and implicit discrimination. Some examples of employment discrimination include:

1. Age.
2. Disability.
3. Ethnicity.
4. Gender
5. Race.
6. Religion.
7. Sexuality
8. Skin tone.
9. Weight. 

Looking at the list above, you see factors that get revealed in people’s photos.

The Harvard Implicit Social Attitude Tests

Thus, ask yourself:

  1. Do you know whom you discriminate against?
  2. Is it possible you have an unconscious bias or two?
  3. Do you think you’re immune?

Then, if you want more self-awareness on this topic, take one or more of Harvard’s Implicit Social Attitude tests. The tests show you how you score on the types of discrimination shown above.

Go here, sign in as a real person or as a guest, and learn more about yourself.

I took a similar test years ago and learned I had one bias. It surprised me — and I was glad to learn there was just one.  I was also 100% unaware of it. Since then, I have used the knowledge I gained to check myself when I recruit and make interview decisions.

Avoid Bias-Related Problems

Further, this self-knowledge is good for all company gatekeepers — recruiters and hiring managers — to have. When you know you have a bias, you can factor it into your recruiting and managerial decisions.

You can also share these examples of employment discrimination and the link to the Harvard tests with your recruiting team. Ask them to check themselves. Doing so might keep you legal, open you to talent pools you’ve missed, and help you improve your recruiting outcomes.

Earn a Diversity Dividend

If you’re doubtful, know that diversity yields results. For example, a 2017 McKenzie study found that companies with executive gender diversity perform better than male-dominated companies.

That is why you’ll see, regardless of laws and EEOC actions, that smart companies have prioritized their diversity strategies.

Image: Fotolia/stockyimages
Updated May 2019

© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 5

  1. Fantastic gizmo, well worth a try! Thank you, Donna!

    Thank you Tricia. Donna

  2. Hi Donna,

    I totally agree with you on the importance of self-awareness of one’s biases in one’s work regardless of what type of career you are engaged in.

    Furthermore, self-awareness is only one part of the equation; the other part is “unlearning” one’s stereotypes and biases.

    In it, aside from a number of places to test one’s biases, there are some online trainings/webinars that one can listen to build up one’s knowledge about people who are different from you and unlearn some of one’s prior biases.

    Great info! Thank you Dorlee. Donna

  3. Donna,

    I found your post interesting and largely went to it because of the tag #ethnicity, but quickly realized that neither of your posts address an important issue often overlooked by recruiters that may be purposeful about seeking minorities in particular.

    Hispanics often do not have a Spanish surname or “look” a certain way. I fit that category. My mother is Cuban, my father Anglo. I am often told I don’t “look” Hispanic and yet, well, I am. Neither my mother’s maiden name (which was anglicized by my Cuban grandfather), my maiden name, or my married name are Spanish). With an increasing Hispanic population, this will only be more, and not less prevalent in the future.

    It seems things have not in some ways progressed much further than in 1976 when I asked for a job at parks and recreation and was told they were only hiring minorities. At 15 years of age, I really didn’t know how to articulate my ethnicity.

    There is a difference between race and ethnicity and you can’t tell a book by it’s cover. Image is important, but it won’t reveal everything. I hope recruiters learn to dig a little deeper and educate themselves about differences between White and non-White Hispanics and race and ethnicity. These distinctions can enable recruiters to make wise decisions in establishing workplaces that are welcoming to a diverse population.

    Hi Joni,

    Thank you for this. You’re right, you can’t tell a book by its cover. I’m thinking of a Caucasian friend who married a man from a Latin American country and subsequently divorced. She has a Hispanic surname — and uses it. What do you do when you want to make a recruiter aware that you are a diversity candidate?


  4. You might want to be aware that this test now appears to be broken. I filled out the registration form, watched all of the ‘Bob’ slides and then got a page of random script. Perhaps not something you want to promote from now on?


    How annoying. I emailed their tech support.

    Thank you Rebecca. Donna

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