Disclaimer: I know that discrimination is real and can be devastating. This is not about race, gender, or politics. I am not looking for opinions about the policy just a factual answer to the question.

The Question
I am a white male searching for a job in a field that is full of white males. Most of the applicants are white males, I don't know why, that's just how it is. Is it better for me if I decline to self-identify in those EEO forms that request your race? Is my application more likely to be rejected because I am another white male, or because I am an unknown?

Secondary question: Does the company get in trouble if they hire too many white males if their applicants are mostly white males? Is it good or bad for the company if many people decline to self-identify?

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    I don't see any opinion in the accepted answer whatsoever. While it might have been predictable that this question could attract opinions, it does have a simple factual answer, so I think it should be reopened. – Kate Gregory Jan 20 '14 at 20:38
  • The danger zone is not when applying to a field that is already accepting of what ever race/gender you are but rather when applying to a field that gives preference to females and minorities. I have a friend that has a PhD in English and is unable to land an interview at a four year college because there are so many other people that get more points on the EEOC. He does get interview when he chooses not to fill them out... though they as Joe noted they still identify and do their scores so it has not actually helped him land a job. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jan 21 '14 at 22:48
  • @JoeStrazzere - Especially in government and public sector jobs your EEOC Score is a factor in whether or not you get hired. And if you do not score high enough they do not even bother to interview you. Which I find a delicious irony since this friend is a far left liberal that supports this sort of thing and just happens to be a white male from a privileged family. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jan 22 '14 at 20:06
  • @JoeStrazzere - I have no idea what the math is. But there is a score that gives women, minorities, disabled, and veterans preference. If you are female minority that is a disabled veteran that meets the minimum requirements you can almost guarantee you get the position because of it. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jan 22 '14 at 23:00

Is it better for me if I decline to self-identify in those EEO forms that request your race? Is my application more likely to be rejected because I am another white guy, or because I am an unknown?

As the forms themselves most likely explain, they are not used for individual decisions and your responses will have absolutely no impact on you or the decision to hire/not hire you.

The responses are summarized and reported to the government (and sometimes management). The overall numbers are what is reported, not anything about individuals. At http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2007instructions.cfm it states "All reports and information from individual reports will be kept confidential, as required by Section 709(e) of Title VII. Only data aggregating information by industry or area, in such a way as not to reveal any particular employers statistics, will be made public."

In many years of working and hiring, I've never seen this confidentialty law broached.

Fill them out if you like, decline if you like. It won't cause your application to be accepted or rejected either way.

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    Great! And from reading the link you provided, it appears that it has no impact on the company whether or not you fill it out because if you don't self-identify they have to do it themselves. I'll just save everyone the hassle and continue to self-identify. – RustyToms Jan 18 '14 at 15:29

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