How your job descriptions discriminate2 min read

As a leader in my field, I get job descriptions sent to me daily. Some of them use some pretty regrettable language. One of my personal holy wars is to create more inclusive work environments that give equitable opportunities to people to do their best work.

Consider your average engineering manager; it’s a pretty cerebral role, and one that also requires some strong soft skills. But it’s not one that’s strictly demanding at all in the area of physical abilities.

So why then does a major employer have the following stanza in a job description that got sent out for an IT manager role?

Physical Requirements: Position requires ordinary ambulatory skills and physical coordination sufficient to move about office locations; ability to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch periodically for prolonged periods of time; manipulation (lift, carry, move) of light to medium weights of 10-35 pounds; arm, hand and finger dexterity, including ability to grasp and type for prolonged periods of time; visual acuity to use a keyboard, computer monitor, operate equipment, and read materials for prolonged periods of time; ability to sit, reach with hands and arms, talk, and hear for prolonged periods of time. 

The real irony comes next.

______ is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and will consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status. 

Now just on principle alone, I’m probably not going to want to work here. I’m very qualified, but I’ll never apply. Why? Your job descriptions go out of the way to make disabled applicants feel unwelcome for a role that has no actual responsibilities that require typical physical abilities. I don’t want to work with people who engage in such discriminatory business practices. Pass.