Hiring Immigrant Women
Silicon Valley's "Simple Formula"
KAREN J. HOSSFELD
I have a very simple formula for hiring. You hire right, and managing takes care of itself. Just three things I look for in hiring [entry-level, high-tech manufacturing operatives]: small, foreign, and female. You find those three things and you're pretty much automatically guaranteed the right kind of work force. These little foreign gals are grateful to be hired--very, very grateful--no matter what.
--a White male production manager and hiring supervisor in a Silicon Valley printed circuit board assembly shop
Trainers and employment agencies around town have this story we tell that explains why we prefer to invest our resources in groups with a good track record. If you tell people that there's a job call Monday morning downtown at nine, this is what happens: the Chinese and the Koreans show up the night before and camp outside the door, so they'll be the first in line. The Iranians used to show up at seven, but now they own everything so they don't need the jobs. Between eight and nine, the Whites show up. The Mexicans come in the afternoon, after their siesta, and the Blacks roll by--maybe--sometime the next day.
--a White male industrial training program and employment agency director in Silicon Valley
California's famed high-tech industrial region, Silicon Valley, is renowned for the great opportunities it has provided to live out the American dream. Since the 1970s, thousands have flocked there in hopes of getting rich quick by hitching their wagons (computerized ones, of course) to the lucrative high-tech revolution. In fact, thousands have indeed become millionaires in the process. Thousands more have successfully turned to the industry in search of new and exciting professional careers, at a time when most other industries in the country are declining. But not every group has had equal access to the preponderance of riches fueled by the region's rapid industrial growth. In fact, shoring up the simple for-