More reader comments about our post on “Disparate Impact” discrimination are worthy of publishing here because of the different views expressed.
Marina Frankel, an HR expert in Preston, Lancashire, UK:
“Great article. I believe what you call a “disparate impact” in the US we call “indirect discrimination” in the UK.
Indirect Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, is a type of discrimination that occurs where A applies to B an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice that A would apply equally to others, but which puts or would put those who share B’s “protected characteristic” at a particular disadvantage. There will be no discrimination if the provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified.”
Terry Mills, Assistant Provost for Diversity/Chief Diversity Officer at John Carroll University, in Cleveland:
“A very interesting article that presents a different view of discrimination. For academic settings, I wonder to what extent disparate discrimination might be applied to areas such as standardized college admissions tests, or graduate and professional school admissions tests. Is it also likely that disparate discrimination could be applied to other measures of educational performance, such as grade point average of students from underrepresented backgrounds?”
Jennifer Contrisciani, a diversity consultant in Detroit:
“98% of male applicants passed … doesn’t seem like much of a test. In many cases physical tests are outdated or not designed correctly for the job, but if the tests have been reviewed and do indeed match conditions on the job then I think we tread into dangerous territory sacrificing equality for safety.
One may make a similar case against predominantly female or black dominated professions. Skill and aptitude must be accounted for if they truly represent the job conditions and are RELEVANT to job performance. That said, within the bounds of public safety, a diverse workforce is usually a net positive.”