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Racism and Profile Picture Requirement

Active Member
Serita W Member Since: Jul 27, 2019
1 of 20

I'm new to Upwork and I'm a plus member. I am trying to remain optimistic, but I fear that requiring a photo of myself may result in fewer hires/interviews. Are there many black people using upwork? Have they faced similar difficulty getting jobs?

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
2 of 20

Serita W wrote:

I'm new to Upwork and I'm a plus member. I am trying to remain optimistic, but I fear that requiring a photo of myself may result in fewer hires/interviews. Are there many black people using upwork? Have they faced similar difficulty getting jobs?


Hard to say, but with freelancers from every corner of the world and almost all countries, I would assume that the platform is pretty diverse. EVERYBODY has difficulty getting jobs, because this is a buyer's market by a huge margin. 10K people try to join every day, only 2% are accepted, out of those who made it, well over 2 million people, only 10% have any earnings. 

Active Member
Serita W Member Since: Jul 27, 2019
3 of 20

I'm a data scientist. The field is diverse but implicit bias is a major problem in IT and CS. There are minorities perceived of as being better at computer science. I don't think Freelance is any different than the traditional marketplace. I have had more success with applying to jobs with my initials only on my resume which conceals both my race and gender. This is not to be deceptive. It is to force hiring managers to look at my skills education, and experience. I feel that Upwork is doing black freelancers a disservice by forcing us to put our faces above our qualifications. People do see color.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 20

Serita W wrote:

I'm a data scientist. The field is diverse but implicit bias is a major problem in IT and CS. There are minorities perceived of as being better at computer science. I don't think Freelance is any different than the traditional marketplace. I have had more success with applying to jobs with my initials only on my resume which conceals both my race and gender. This is not to be deceptive. It is to force hiring managers to look at my skills education, and experience. I feel that Upwork is doing black freelancers a disservice by forcing us to put our faces above our qualifications. People do see color.


__________________________

 

Serita, 

 

Upwork does not allow colour distinction - but of course it does exist - one can only hope that eventually, those bigoted, badly educated people will learn - or maybe (hopefully) die out.  Your qualifications will show over and above the colour of your skin ( a beautiful matt colour that many women, including me, if they had the money, would pay mega bucks for!).

 

A good client will not care and I am quite sure, based on your qualifications, you will land more jobs than you can cope with. 

 

Go out bravely and forget colour. There are thousands of highly qualified Indian, African and African American freelancers on this site, many of whom are doing extremely well - all of whom do not have that rather disgusting whitish, greenish skin, that Caucasians seem to be so proud of.  Raise the flag girl and go out there with your picture intact ...  

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
8 of 20

Rene K wrote:

Serita W wrote:

I don't think Freelance is any different than the traditional marketplace. 


You're in the US. Prejudice towards black people is strong in the US. Clients from other countries may not have the same prejudice towards black people.

 

_____________________________

 

This is true. But not so long ago that same US had a black president who served two full terms. What is upsetting is that one person in the top job now has managed to turn the tables and undermine the confidence of a US citizen, who with impressive qualifications should be able to, and will be successful in her native country, and on this site.  


 

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
8 of 20

Serita, in the 7 or so years that I've been on this platform, I have never been aware of complaints about racial bias.  Country of origin?  Oh yes, for sure.  But not racial, and especially not with US clients. 

And I can assure you that UW freelancers complain about everything - real or imagined!

 

I was concerned at first because I'm old and I have white hair - but while that works against me in the bricks and mortar world, it hasn't affected me a bit as a freelancer. I'm not sure that clients even look at profile pictures.

Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
8 of 20

Mary W wrote:

Serita, in the 7 or so years that I've been on this platform, I have never been aware of complaints about racial bias.  Country of origin?  Oh yes, for sure.  But not racial, and especially not with US clients. 

And I can assure you that UW freelancers complain about everything - real or imagined!

 

I was concerned at first because I'm old and I have white hair - but while that works against me in the bricks and mortar world, it hasn't affected me a bit as a freelancer. I'm not sure that clients even look at profile pictures.


I think the profile picture is very important. It is one of the few things that make a personal connection, which is crucial for getting hired. I believe a bad, unprofessional picture - unfriendly, unsmiling, not looking at the camera, holding your baby or dog, ... can really hurt. Your picture, Serita, is exactly how it should be. 

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
8 of 20

Mary W wrote:

Serita, in the 7 or so years that I've been on this platform, I have never been aware of complaints about racial bias.  Country of origin?  Oh yes, for sure.  But not racial, and especially not with US clients. 

And I can assure you that UW freelancers complain about everything - real or imagined!

 

I was concerned at first because I'm old and I have white hair - but while that works against me in the bricks and mortar world, it hasn't affected me a bit as a freelancer. I'm not sure that clients even look at profile pictures.


Old, white-haired ladies unite!  Smiley Wink

Ace Contributor
Sheila F Member Since: Apr 6, 2017
9 of 20

Freelancing is different from regular work. Clients are here to get stuff done. I think they are more interested in finding people that can do the work and less about how well you fit into the company "culture".

Community Guru
Catherine M Member Since: Jan 20, 2017
10 of 20

Hi Serita, I have never had a problem securing clients on Upwork. In fact, I have made my profile private because I have more than enough work to keep me busy at this time. Don't worry about race, let your profile be your face. If you have the skill set needed by the client, your chances are as good as anyone else. If a client doesn't want you because of your race, do you really want to work with that client anyway?

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