As I read the article “Judge: College Discriminated against non-Mormons“, I reflected on my experience with the University of Phoenix.
It was about 6 years ago and I had recently graduated with my Bachelor’s degree. I had applied for a job with the University of Phoenix and was sitting in front of my future boss. He eye-balled my resume for a bit and asked me a few questions pertaining to my prior work experience. He then saw that I had served a mission in Germany and started asking me many questions about my mission. I got a bit nervous because you never know what you’re going to get from someone when they start drilling you about being a Mormon. He then asked me if I’d been a leader in the mission field and I told him of my leadership roles I’d had. After I shared that with him, he said “if you were a zone leader, you’ll do a great job here! Welcome aboard, Elder!” It turned out he was a Mormon too.
This experience appears to have been a similar occurance at UoPhx…enough so that they lost the lawsuit and had to fork out about $2 million.
One can look at it two ways. On the one hand, the manager wants to hire someone he/she is confident in and knows they’re good salespeople. They don’t have really much to go off of other than a person’s word and their resume. For a manager who has “been there done that” as a Mormon, it is a safer and more familiar risk to take hiring a Mormon over a non-Mormon.
On the other hand, there may be better candidates but the manager doesn’t relate as well with them due to lack of similarities. The Mormon manager may not relate to the non-Mormon.
Also, I saw especially in the comment section, a lot of non-Mormons who had felt discriminated against. This is terribly unfortunate, but I think it is a part of the Mormon culture for Mormons to “stick together”. We are encouraged from a very young age to only associate with those of our faith in dating situations and otherwise. I feel that this “sticking together” attitude could be a large reason why this lawsuit came about. How can we as Mormons break this stigma? Should we try to break this stigma? Why or why not?
I feel that we do ourselves and others a huge injustice if we close ourselves off to the world and not “give them a chance.” If we truly believe in a God who loves all people unconditionally we wouldn’t look at them as Christian, Mormon, Athiest, or whatever. We would look at them as children of God…our brothers and sisters. By doing so, we would break the stigma the Mormons stick together and only care for their own.