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Blacks working in the IT Field

pretty_boypretty_boy Inactive Imported Users Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
I feel that I face a-lot of stereotyping because of my race, and how I look. If you look at the race and the number of people that work in the IT you see mostly white males. Now that I have attained some certs, I get a lot of mix emotion from certain people (per say). Let me give your a little history about me. I started working in the IT as a stock clerk, then later I became a computer operator trainee, and after two years of that I became a computer operator 1. Just recently my boss required for us to have Network +. The Network + training and testing was done in-house, doing this testing I guess my company was trying to weed out few people, and I strongly believe that I was one of them, because of my lack of experience. But, to my surprise I was started really enjoying the testing and the studying. I was second in top scores in our training class. So I went to actually take the Comptia (Network +) test and score a 756 on my first test. Then a 2 month later I pass Security +. Then a month later I pass the CWNA. Now remember I was a stock clerk, and now I have more certs than 85% of the people that work above me. And guess what? I am still an Operator 1. One level from a stock clerk, I wonder do certs only mean something when you are a particular race.
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    pretty_boypretty_boy Inactive Imported Users Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
    pretty_boy wrote:
    I feel that I face a-lot of stereotyping because of my race, and how I look. If you look at the race and the number of people that work in the IT you see mostly white males. Now that I have attain some certs, I get alot of mix emotion from certain people (per say). Let me give your a little history about me. I started working in the IT as a stock clerk, then later I became a computer operator trainee, and after two years of that I became a computer operator 1. Just recently my boss required for us to have Network +. The Network + training and testing was done in-house, doing this testing I quess my company was trying to weed out few people, and I strongly believe that I was one of them, because of my lack of experience. But, to my surprise I was started really enjoying the testing and the studying. I was second in top scores in our training class. So I went to actually take the Comptia (Network +) test and score a 746 on my first test. Then a 2 month later I pass Security +. Then a month later I pass the CWNA. Now remeber I was a stock clerk, and now I have more certs than 85% of the people that work above me. And quess what? I am still an Operator 1. Just one level from a stock. I wonder does certs only mean something when you are a particular race.[/Ignorance will always exist. If people exist.quote]
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    TeKniquesTeKniques Member Posts: 1,262 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Give me a break. I used to work in a place that hired lots of people of different races to do IT jobs. If you think you are being treated unfairly, go to your local labor board and file a formal complaint.

    Or just look for a new employer. From what I hear (anecdotal yes) employers are afraid to not hire minorities because of what you are saying now, and are afraid of being sued, even if it means not hiring the BEST QUALIFIED candidate.

    The bottom line is, the best candidate with the best credentials should get the job regardless of race. I believe that is the case in MOST companies. If a company is truly negating a potential candidate based on race, then they must be reported. Don't get me wrong, racism definitely exists out there, but there are very succesful people that are not white living amongst us.

    And it's possible for white people to be a victim of racism too for the reasons I explained above. Yes, some people do get a job based on who they are and who they know. It's just the way it works sometimes .. is it right? NO, most likely not unless they are qualified. If you truly believe you are being negated than the options I would present you would be:

    1. Find a different employer with your qualifications.
    2. Confront your manager/boss and tell him you feel like your being negated to advance because of your race.
    3. Report your employer to the local labor board.
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    johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    unfortuantely, not all of us have local labor boards that we can go to. While I cant say for sure whats holding you back since I dont know you, you have to look at other areas besides certifications, like experience and formal education. If you have more experience than those other folks, with the same education level, with the same level of employment, and common work ethic (mucho importante) then I would go to my boss and say "WTF mate?".
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    NoodsNoods Member Posts: 168
    There are a few things that should be said in this case.

    Remember, technical knowledge and certifications are not what get you promoted. Establishing relationships with people and convincing others that you are a leader, that you are professional and that you can do the work is what is important. Whatever company said "networks are people" had it right.

    It may be a little presumptuous of me to say this, because I am a white male, but here it is. Dont focus on what is not getting you promoted, including race. In doing so you will only single yourself out. Instead, find why people DO get promoted and focus on that. Its that positive mindset that is the key to progression.

    With that said, if you take some time and think about it, and you come to the conclusion that race IS an issue at your workplace, quit. Racism doesnt fly in todays workplace. There are many companies skilled employees can find a job no matter your race.
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    keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The first part of your post said that maybe the less experienced were trying to be weeded out. Perhaps they still out rank you because they have more experience. The only thing you can do to kill the type of sterotype you think is going on is to be the best at your job, don't be an a$$, and don't cry wolf unless you're sure it's a wolf, if you catch my drift.
    Black people sometimes have a tendancy to blame every shortcoming or mishap on race or racism. I've been very successful in IT, I work full time as a trainer/consultant, and a month ago formed an LLC with two white guys. I am the majority owner (70%). Yesterday we signed a 1.2 million dollar maintenance and support and training contract (3 year span). How did I get this contract? Half of the IT staff at this company are individuals who have come through one of my classes at one time or another. I've spent the last 12 years in IT building relationships, studying my but off, working my butt off, and doing all I can to help people. The reward? I'm basically set for a while now, and have several nice contracts in the pipeline (by the way, this company who I we signed the contract with are huge republican supporters) In short, I think they respect the fact that I'm not registered as a minority business owner. Why? I don't feel I need any handout or pity party to get where I want, because I've spent my life planning and preparing for what's happening right now. My advice to you brother, take a step back, check yourself and see what you need to do different. Because whether racism exists or not is irrelevant, because what is relevant and certain is you cannot change the entire world. I tell you these things only to help you out, so please don't get offended. Put in the time man, and put in the effort, and you WILL eventually be rewarded.

    In case you were wondering, yes I am "Black"
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    D-boyD-boy Member Posts: 595 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I don't think being black has anything to do with it. It could be just the fact they have more experience than you...

    I would just continue getting your cert's and learn as much as you can off the people that have more experience than you and work your butt off. Also I would use this opp to learn as much as you can, while getting your cert's, it will pay off in the end, just takes time... Rome wasn't built in a day...
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    Non-Profit TechieNon-Profit Techie Member Posts: 418 ■■□□□□□□□□
    have you talked to your employer and expressed interest in higher level positions?

    generally if you show interest, over time they will let you have a shot. If not, find an employer who will treat you right!
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    pretty_boypretty_boy Inactive Imported Users Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Tekniques, I have heard and seen numerous events, where people have tried to do same thing that you are writing about. Their end result was nothing. I know that other people face this hardship, not just black people. I wrote the statement base on my experience, not somebody else’s. I would never want something giving to me; there is no respect in that. I would rather earn it.


    Jonnynodugh, Only one thing that is holding me back, I have received numerous of job offer, but again the only thing that holding me back, is the fact the my employer that I work for now will pay for my college. Also, and I’m kind of scared of leavening, because of what I am going through now. I would rather leave with both a degree and certs.

    Noods, My boss is considered an IT GOD in Jacksonville FL. He told me he was highly impress by me, and that my made feel good coming from him. He was in the process of making changes for me, and just out the blue he quit unfortunately. Just like Tekniques said, other people face hardships too. In references to experience, I don’t care if you have degrees or certs, hands on experience is not found in those, but the opportunity for hands on experience is, or should be at least.


    I would also like to think all of you for your intelligent replies. All replies have been taken in consideration. Once again, Thanks .
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    jasoninazjasoninaz Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have black people on my team and I think it may just be the place you work. Where I work we embrace diversity. If your place of work does not than let the president of the company know that you feel the the company does not have a vision of diversity.

    I want you to know this. People in technology generally do not CARE what color of your skin is. That is the wonderful thing about the tech field. India, japan, china, canada,mexico and french. That is the diversity that I have on my team and we have fun picking on each other.
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    NoodsNoods Member Posts: 168
    That is the wonderful thing about the tech field. India, japan, china, canada,mexico and french. That is the diversity that I have on my team and we have fun picking on each other.

    I find this statement very true. I sometimes wish I knew more people of different nationalities.

    If I were you, I would get ahold of your old boss and see if he has any advice for you. You never know, he may have a position just right for you ;)

    Good luck!
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    RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In the real world certs quite often mean very little - especially when they are not accompanied with the appropriate experience.

    As far as I have seen - compared to other areas I have worked the IT field has very little problems with race or color.
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    JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,039 Admin
    Speaking as someone who has worked as the only "white person" in a software shop filled with Chinese/Vietnamese programmers, I've felt that being a racial minority made me "stand out from the crowd" in a positive way. While there was little chance that I'd ever get promoted to a position of importance (mostly due to cultural nepotism), my personality and different ways of seeing problems often caused my superiors to regard me with a higher level of respectability than that of my peers.

    It is certainly possible for any person in authority to dislike a subordinate for any reason (yes, I've had this happen to me), but your ability to solve problems and successfully complete tasks will eventually be the characteristics that all others use to determine your value, and will eventually carry you past any adversity.

    Never give in to the belief that you are the victim of something that you cannot change.
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    strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528 ■■■□□□□□□□
    We don't embrace diversity or even care about it. We just don't even think about it. Where I work we have an Australian (Me), a South African, 3 English, 1 Sri Lankan and 1 Carribean person. The most senior is the black carribean person. I never really even thought about how diverse we were until I actually thought about it.

    I went for a job interview with an all asian IT team and got knocked back for the job and I believe it was because I was white. Do I whinge or complain, no I just go to the next job. Descrimination happens any many different forms to everyone - just deal with it, its the way of the world
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    remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    You all seem to be clueless about racism. If blacks would have had the mentality to just deal with it, we would still be slaves. There is a difference between complaining and calling out an injustice. This same mentality carries over in every aspect of life it seems. It seems that if blacks say they are being discriminated against they are complaining. Thats ridiculous. Its not about working harder , because lot of times the black people that are in higher positions work harder than anyone, its about calling out an injustice. I am not saying blacks are the only ones the face discrimination I am saying that we are the only ones labeled as complaining when we do. I see it happen to pro athletes all the time. There is some type of injustice and its "awww quit complaining, just play", its almost like shut up boy and do your job. Play for us. Entertain us. They can care less about most of these athletes as long as they work for them. There is a reality and there is a should be world. The should be world says that all people should be treated equally but the reality is , its far from that. Just because slavery is over doesnt mean the mentality isnt still there. You all have to realize, black people in America have only had civil rights for less than 50 years. Thats ridiculous considering that this country has been established for over hundreds. This country was not built with black people in mind at all. I am far from racist or prejudice but the facts are the facts. I dont deal with should be, I deal with how things are. Everyone says , oh blacks have had enough time to get their stuff together. LOL, thats laughable. Blacks have made incredible strides in society considering that we couldnt even use the same bathroom as whites less than 40 years ago. We have an abudance of wealthy blacks now More than ever. All this hoopla about complaining is getting ridiculous
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    garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    Noods wrote:
    There are a few things that should be said in this case.

    Remember, technical knowledge and certifications are not what get you promoted. Establishing relationships with people and convincing others that you are a leader, that you are professional and that you can do the work is what is important. Whatever company said "networks are people" had it right.

    It may be a little presumptuous of me to say this, because I am a white male, but here it is. Dont focus on what is not getting you promoted, including race. In doing so you will only single yourself out. Instead, find why people DO get promoted and focus on that. Its that positive mindset that is the key to progression.

    With that said, if you take some time and think about it, and you come to the conclusion that race IS an issue at your workplace, quit. Racism doesnt fly in todays workplace. There are many companies skilled employees can find a job no matter your race.

    Perfect, enough said.
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    remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    `There are a few things that should be said in this case.

    Remember, technical knowledge and certifications are not what get you promoted. Establishing relationships with people and convincing others that you are a leader, that you are professional and that you can do the work is what is important. Whatever company said "networks are people" had it right.

    It may be a little presumptuous of me to say this, because I am a white male, but here it is. Dont focus on what is not getting you promoted, including race. In doing so you will only single yourself out. Instead, find why people DO get promoted and focus on that. Its that positive mindset that is the key to progression.

    With that said, if you take some time and think about it, and you come to the conclusion that race IS an issue at your workplace, quit. Racism doesnt fly in todays workplace. There are many companies skilled employees can find a job no matter your race.


    I think that this is a good post. I think he put this whole thing in a positive light rather than say "quit complaining and get back to work". If you truly feel that racism is hampering your ability to move up in the company, quit and let them know that's why you are quitting. Racism is not supposed to fly but it does. I worked at a place where a Black supervisor was called a n**** and the white guy kept his job. They suspended him for 3 days and had all of us go through diversity training. But the guy didn't lose his job. This was in 2003, I left the company. Went on to something better. All I am trying to say is you cant keep turning a blind eye to something that has been plaguing our country since its conception, just so that you can move up and show the powers that be that you dont complain or to show that we dont need handouts.
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    strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Actually, everyone gets treated equal, we are all treated like slaves no matter what colour you are. You work for a small amount of money to make a company a huge amount of monye, you get hearded from 9 till 5, sometimes longer and you work day in day out. We are ALL still slaves and we are ALL treated as just numbers by companies, thats ALL of us. The biggest divide is not between white and black but rich and poor. The powers that be make us argue over ridiculous things like the colour of our skin so we lose sight of how they are all screwing us over. I came to deal with this a long time ago and if we all shut up we may stop ourselves ending up like China or Taiwan where they have REAL slaves with a lifestyle much worse than any white or black person in the western world. Just think of those things before you get to depressed about how BAD you have it.
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    jmc724jmc724 Member Posts: 415
    Dont feel so bad, other minorities have the similar experiences too...but I dont give up on applying. Im not there to work because of skin color rather because of expertise and skills.
    What next?
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    strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528 ■■■□□□□□□□
    But seriously, if they were really racist against you, you wouldn't have a job at all. Companies can easily find ways to get rid of you.
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    jmc724jmc724 Member Posts: 415
    EXACTLY...good point to consider...!!!!
    What next?
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    /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    Everyone says , oh blacks have had enough time to get their stuff together.

    I don't think anyone here is saying that.
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    remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    I am sorry /usr i wasnt referring to anyone here in this room. I have heard talk shows, radio shows where this issue gets debated all the time and that is what I was meaning.
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    remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    I've spent the last 12 years in IT building relationships, studying my but off, working my butt off, and doing all I can to help people. The reward? I'm basically set for a while now, and have several nice contracts in the pipeline (by the way, this company who I we signed the contract with are huge republican supporters) In short, I think they respect the fact that I'm not registered as a minority business owner. Why? I don't feel I need any handout or pity party to get where I want,

    This is the thing I find disturbing about this quote. I know thats how things are but the thing is , you shouldn't have to play this game with them anyhow. It shouldn't matter about listing it as a minority business owner. You not having to list it and getting respect is a slap in the face. The point I am trying to make is you feeling proud that you didnt list it as a minority owned business and they STILL respect you is ridiculous. Thats not they way it should be. We should get respect just for being a business not a minority business that is not listed as such. You are missing the racism that is embedded in that. Its ironic almost.

    Okay im done with this post. On to more technical things. See you next week.
    Same Bat time , Same bat channel.
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    TeKniquesTeKniques Member Posts: 1,262 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think you misinterpreted what he was saying. It was what he 'thought' not what his business partners think or are thinking. Are you saying his business partners are racist? Kind of doubt it if he's 70% owner, that's a hell of a deal by any definition.

    I know people who are in business that have far less than that. For example a family member of mine owns a restaurant and it is split 3 ways such as:

    55/35/10

    The person who runs the operation gets 55 while the people who helped contribute start up costs get the rest.
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    keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The point I made about not being registered has really nothing to do with the company. My statement that I think they respect that fact is complete speculation, not fact. And I suspect that the respect was more based on the fact that I had the guts to try and do this in an area which is 90% white. People in general (and more specifically) business owners, respect guts So I'm not playing a game. That was just a side note to say it's not needed for everybody. You are missing my point. I grew up in the south (Mississippi). The stories you guys hear about on the news? Emmit Till, the three civil rights workers who were murdered? Well my mother and father suffered through those times, and lived and still live in those same woods where all these things happened. I know that racism still exists, and it exists in ways one might not even imagine. Sometimes as a youngster I would listen to horrible stories my father would tell us about, him and his friends being beaten for being in "town" at the wrong time. Being spit on, beaten up and pissed on, and I mean literally. And guess what, the same people that did these things to my father and others in my family are still alive, not only that, they are some of the alderman, some of the business owners, some are even Mayor's. So is it possible that all these people who grew up hating blacks, abusing blacks and attempting to degrade blacks are all changed now? Probably not. I know it/they still exist, but the million dollar question is how to deal with it?

    Don't get me wrong remyforbes777, I'm not suggesting that anyone do what I'm doing. I was simply stating what worked for me. Essentially, everyone black or white will have to find their own way of dealing with racism.



    You all seem to be clueless about racism. If blacks would have had the mentality to just deal with it, we would still be slaves.

    While I agree with this, I would like to point out one thing. If you think for one second that the only people instrumental in ending slavery were black people you are sadly mistaken. Again I will refer back to the three civil rights workers who were beaten, murdered then buried at a construction site in my home state; two of them were white.
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    remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    I am not saying that his business partners are racist. I am saying the fact that he mentions that he doesn't list his contributors respect that he doesnt list it as a minority own business is a racist thing. Racism is not whites hating blacks, thats being prejudiced. Racism is the ability for one race to opress another race.or having the ability to not allow a race to advance financially and socially or politically. To say , hey I am getting respect from them because i dont list my business as a black business has a racist overtone to it. If they were to actually tell him , "I respect you because you aren't like the rest of the blacks listing their businesses as minority owned just so they can get a handout" would that then make it racist? The subtlety of racism is what I am referring to.
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    keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I'd like to share this with you guys. Maybe this will give you a better insight as to where I stand.

    7 years ago, I had a supervisor to tell me that he didn't think that I was qualified for a promotion because of my background. At first I thought he meant because of my IT background, but after continuing the conversation and digging farther into his mind, I soon realized that he was talking about me being black. He ended up telling me that "most black people don't grow up with computers so they usually have more to learn" I immediately went to his supervisor and explained everything word for word. He basically called him in his office had a closed door meeting. When they came out both of them were smirking as if to say "you can't do anything about it". Later that evening I heard them outside (they didn't see me). His supervisor said, yeah those people are like that, they don't ever do anything productive and sit and complain about racism all the time. The very next day I went online, found the phone number to the states attorney general office, got a reccommendation for an attorney who would represent me. The attorney I got only spent about three hours working up notorized complaints and "intent to summons" forms. He then had this sent to the attorney general's office who attached some other legal documents (basically just saying they were aware of the complaint, but it sounded like they were saying much more than that).

    End result? This big brown enevelop with all of these legal documents arrived at this companies legal department. That same day, we were all three (me, supervisor, and his supervisor) were called in to an emergency meeting, basically the company president, the company attorney's and my attorney were present. The company president and attorney's asked the supervisor if he made any of the comments I had in the complaint. He said yes. The meeting was over shortly after that. The next day the supervisor and his supervisor both had pink slips in their boxes. I didn't feel bad at all because I knew within my mind beyond a shadow of a doubt where they stood (especially after overhearing the convo outside). Racists to me are the scum of the earth,and should be dealt with appropiately, all I'm saying is make sure that's what's going on. And in your heart and mind you know that's what's going on, then go for the jugular!
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    /usr/usr Member Posts: 1,768
    The meeting was over shortly after that. The next day the supervisor and his supervisor both had pink slips in their boxes.

    I wish all similar situations ended that way.
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    keatronkeatron Member Posts: 1,213 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Again remy, I'll repeat, I thought element of respect came from trying to succeed in a way that others in my same situation in the same general geographic area usually don't. The actual fact of not registering is just an example of doing it different than the norm. And yes, I can say what the norm is here in my area, but I can't speak for anywhere else.

    And wasn't referring to my partners, I was referring to clients.

    And no just because they respect that fact does not make them racists. It could mean they are, but it's not a fact. If you look at most business owners that have became billionares you will find that most of these people did things out of the norm. Bill Gates is a good example.

    Tiger Woods was the first black to ranked the number one golfer in the world. In Mississippi there are several golf courses that were known for not "allowing" blacks on the course. One of which was a PGA tour site 5 years ago. Needless to say they allow black people there now. My point is that just like my situation with the company I worked for and took legal action, sometimes change has to be "forced". And often times the way to force it is not by what you say, but what you do and how you carry yourself. I could've huffed and puffed for months over that situation, complained for ages to his supervisor but obviously nothing would've ever happened. Complaining over and over again or in a sense crying "wolf" all the time leads to numbness and the total ignoring of the issue.
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    remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    Dont get me wrong Keatron, I understand exactly what you are talking about. I do and agree with you. I understand all about people crying wolf. I am not stupid , I know that blacks have problems, but take for instance your situation, you complained because there was injustice going on, and they chalked it up (your supes at the time) to you complaining. That is a mentality that I have seen a lot of. They chalked what the person who started this post was saying as complaining. Look back at some of the post, they told him to quit complaining. Thats what I am basically talking about. No disrespect to you at all. I am sorry if it seemed that way. My whole thing is , it should not have to be looked at as that black person or this black person is doing this without needing a handout. It should be looked at as this person is running a respectable business. He is hardworking. But again we dont live in the should be world. I am not saying that your clients or whoever are thinking that, but even the possibility of it is to me not right.
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