Can I apply as a diversity candidate ?

I know that this post will make some rightwingers/conservatives/republicans angry but you can go to your corner and cry there.

I'm 1/8 black straight male (he/him) planning to work in IB. I look white but my great-grandfather was half-black so I would consider myself as 1/8 black.

Even though I still have a chance in IB without applying as a diversity candidate, I would like to increase my chances of getting into IB. I'm planning to apply as a black diversity candidate but I look white. Obviously, I can prove that my great-grandfather was half-black but still I'm worried. I don't think that they have any right to decide to my race by just looking at my skin color.

What do you think ?

Comments (13)

  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
Jan 19, 2022 - 12:55pm

Maybe you can try some michael jackson magic but the other way around, do you know what I mean? 

Most Helpful
  • Manager in Risk Mnmgt
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:09pm

In complete seriousness, whether you can or not I'd say its not worth it. Especially given that you're 1/8 the race you're counting on to achieve diversity status. The diversity initiatives in finance are highly polarizing and are pushing people into an us or them mentality. Not saying that's right or wrong, just the way it is. I'd avoid the diversity label if you can. Plus, you may fall into a situation where other diversity hires feel that you're not "diverse enough" and you wind up completely alienated.

These are just my opinions, not meant to piss people off or be disrespectful. If you can get in without playing the diversity card, I'd definitely go that route. Full disclosure, I'm an investment research guy (ignore username), not IB. Could be different over there. 

Edited for grammar.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jan 19, 2022 - 1:31pm

Wouldn't that make you 1/16 black? You would be 1/8 black if your great-grandfather was 100% black.

Is there a "minimum requirement" to qualify as "diversity" or not (i.e., you have to be at least 1/X minority to count as diversity)? I don't think I've really came across anyone less than 1/2. Even if there's no "minimum requirement" of sorts, I don't think it's worth it and wouldn't go that path but I can understand why you would.

Jan 20, 2022 - 12:00pm
QualsBitch, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Half-black great-grandfather > quarter-black grandparent > eighth-black parent > sixteenth-black you.

Good luck. You're not the first, nor will you be the last, to try to pull this. You may not "think that they have any right to decide to my race by just looking at my skin color," but that's exactly what they'll do, and, in the highly unlikely event they request "proof," 1/16th will get you laughed at. 

May also want to bone up on your mental math. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jan 20, 2022 - 12:07pm

To be honest, I would just apply as a 'regular' candidate if you're qualified. You're taking a substantial risk of getting auto-dinged for (at the very least being perceived as) co-opting the DE&I pipeline. 1/16th black + visibly white = eye-rolling rejection, in a lot of cases, with an implicit strike against you in the scenario where you enter the regular process (HR will recognize you as the 'fake' diversity kid). 

Jan 22, 2022 - 11:36am
AnalyzeANDchill, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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