General Discussion => New Board => Topic started by: Orion on January 29, 2008, 01:42:50 PM

Title: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: Orion on January 29, 2008, 01:42:50 PM
I went to a job search engine and typed in "introvert" to see what I would find. I found job listings specifically designating "introverts not allowed."

Job Listing 1 (

That add says "Introverts are not good candidates for this type of work." In the basic description it states: "Nutro Products, Inc. is searching for outgoing, energetic people in the Long Beach/Lakewood/Downey areas who love pets to join our team!"

Another listing:

<a href=">Job Listing 2[/url]

Which states: "Will need to be able to drive bugs with developers so an introvert is not a good candidate."

Both listings actually provide the name and number of the person for contact.

A thread a while back addressed the issue of how to bring introvert discrimination into the public view, at first I felt a big lawsuit would not be worth it.

Do these listings sound any different than your basic "go-getter" listing, or do they sound discriminatory to you?  If they are discriminatory, what needs to happen?

Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: radames on January 29, 2008, 02:35:29 PM
In my opinion these sites are discriminatory.  I have recently spoken with an investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who spoke on discriminating based on race, sex, age, national origin, or disability.  I suppose if we classified introverts as disabled in a social manner, we would definitely have a case for a class action suit.  However, we need to be able to prove that we can do the job even if we are introverted.  Being the introversion significantly suppresses our ability to socially interact, and employers are not allowed to prevent the hiring of someone based on their disability, someone could truly “make some bank” if there wasn’t another reason that the employer could use to not hire the person.  In essence, if there was another person with the same qualifications as you who got hired over you, it could definitely be grounds for discrimination.
Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: Anja on January 29, 2008, 05:17:29 PM

I am not a resident of the States, but of Denmark which I think by far is a more introverted-friendly country (though not really). So...I may not understand your situation 100%, but I am going to throw in my thoughts anyway - dismiss it if you want.

I know you are discussing law suits - and I know that fighting for your rights thru law suits is much more common in the States than in Denmark - but my immediate thoughts and feelings are: isn't information campaigns what you/we first of all really need?  ::) I know Marti has written some books and a couple of other people are probably also doing their best to inform people, but the U.S. is huge so of course something bigger has to happen.
But big things start with small steps...I think someone once sspamested putting signs in your vehicles or something saying "I am an innie". It is my experience that displaying who you are/what you are and being willing to answer peoples questions is a huge part of the job of gaining acceptance...........(but I KNOW that it will be a tough job for each individual taking part  :( ) (I myself am searching my options for writing about introversion and how to respect it but not make it a problem symptom in social group work  :) )

To be a bit more action-oriented: how about making an internet-group where we could discuss ideas for actions that each individual could do? This is, of course, an internet group but I think a forum just for that could help keeping focus.
Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: Orion on January 29, 2008, 05:47:41 PM
Hey Anja,

Thanks for your comments! In a thread a while back I commented on American lawsuit culture and I agree that it is not a good first step.

The more exposure introversion gets the better.  This exposure should be through awareness efforts, like books, meet up groups, etc.

The way of America though (a lot of it) is to train its citizens to be consumers.  The best consumer is an outgoing, "lively", extroverted individual.  So we'd have to tackle the very fabric of American culture, which in my opinion, is worth it.

We have to make small steps, but loud ones.

We have to work our way into television (show more introverted leading roles that depict success, etc), and all other forms of media.

One of the real problems is that as soon as extroverts perceive introverts to be separate from them, it is going to be really easy for them to discriminate against introverts, this is why I posted those two job listings.

They are subtle indications but VERY REAL.

Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: GroovyCD on January 29, 2008, 06:54:26 PM
I think there are two types of employer discrimination regarding introversion. The first makes sense, while the second is illogical.

The first type of discrimination involves a genuine attempt to find someone who will succeed in and enjoy the position. For example, a sales manager may pass over an introverted candidate because s/he knows, based on experience, that such a person will not be successful in the position.

The second form of discrimination irrationally conforms to the social stereotype that introverts are simply less competent than extroverts. I experienced this type of discrimination when an interviewer told me I should have been more extroverted in my interview even though the position involved reviewing documents.

Of course, many people may believe that introverts should get a chance to succeed at positions that extroverts have a higher aptitude for. I don't think there is an easy answer to this question. However, I do think that employers more often discriminate against introverts than they do against extrovert "chatterboxes" who spend excessive time talking to co-workers. If "introverted" positions never went to overly talkative people, I think introverts would have an easier time finding jobs that suited them.
Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: Fran on January 30, 2008, 10:09:22 AM
Interviews would definitely seem to be the place where there is the most discrimination against introverts.  I don't see how any interview could ever make someone know if someone else could do a job, yet it is the main basis for choosing to hire someone or not.  I have absolutely no doubt that many employers have regretted hiring somebody because they were good in an interview. 
Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: Anja on January 31, 2008, 10:52:09 AM
Orion - thanks for your reply. It makes sense.  :)

When it comes to preventing discrimination I think it must be important to always maintain that both - extroversion and introversion - are "package deals". So as to say that society is not getting the benefits of introversion unless it accepts and respects the whole deal.

 ;) MUCH easier said than done of course. Especially in society with a strong bias against introversion.
Title: Re: The beginnings of introvert discrimination?
Post by: radames on January 31, 2008, 11:11:03 AM
Maybe we should go over some definitions of discrimination: 
1.   an act or instance of discriminating.
2.   treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
3.   the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.
4.   Archaic. something that serves to differentiate

A pertinent question is how sensitive or insensitive are we to these definitions?  Have we gotten “tougher” as a society because of the frequency of huge settlements occurring because of this discrimination?  Therefore, if someone were to say something that would be considered discriminatory to us, it would not be harsh enough to warrant some kind of argument or defense.  I just wonder where the relativity has its boundaries set.