An applicant felt disrespected when an executive from a real estate company asked how gay he is in an interview to supposedly gauge his “chemistry” with other employees.
Deg Daupan shared that an executive personnel was looking for a Mandarin interpreter for their local and international marketing-related activities.
Daupan, an LGBT member, recounted how the interview went in a Facebook post.
This is the first time I’m going to do this. D ko kinaya talaga eh. Edward Paeste, maghaharap tayo sa labas ng opisina…
It started, he said, when the interviewer inquired about his sexual orientation. Daupan answered that he didn’t understand the question when the interviewer asked him to rank his “gayness” on a scale of one to 10.
“I don’t think gayness can be ranked like that,” Daupan answered. The interviewer was persistent and he told Daupan to “pretend” that his “gayness” could be ranked.
Daupan responded that he couldn’t pretend to do so but the interviewer asked, “Are you super gay? Not so gay? Or what?”
Daupan answered that he couldn’t understand the question and added that he doesn’t believe in the ranking of “gayness.”
The interviewer then asked if Daupan identified himself more as a “masculine” or as a “feminine.”
Daupan answered the question but when the interviewer brought back the topic of ranking, he walked out of the office.
LGBT members and advocates expressed their support to Daupan after he shared his experience on Facebook.
who tf asks "how gay are you?" in a job interview? 😠
our sexual orientation, gender identity & expression (SOGIE) shouldnt matter & should not hinder us from opportunities in the workplace, schools, or anywhere else. tHIS HAS TO STOP.
— Vince Liban 🌈 #NeverNovember Nov18 PPM (@vinceliban) November 8, 2018
The other side
A former employee of the company said the interview was designed that way for the executive “to gauge to which group he (the applicant) will have the best chemistry with.”
In a comments thread of a Facebook post that talked about the same issue, the ex-employee replied that Daupan applied as a Mandarin-speaking international agent “to be deployed primarily to China.”
“He was asked ‘How gay are you’ not to offend him but for the VP to gauge to which group he will have the best chemistry with since deployment to China will be in (a) group of 3’s. This process happens as early as the interview. As a director of sales in (the company) before, this normally happens,” the ex-employee said.
“We assign people based on their personalities for the benefit of the ‘new agent.’ Example: A shy college grad will be assigned to a manager who specializes molding shy ones to become outspoken,” he continued.
The ex-employee added that “there are lots of LGBT people that work with (the executive) as of now.”
“If Deg (hypothetically) answers he is ’10’ in the scale, he could have been assigned to the manager where his gayness could have been celebrated,” he reasoned.
The day after Daupan shared his experience on Facebook, he got a call from the company’s corporate communications officer who apologized on behalf of the interviewer.
Just got off the phone with a communications officer from Century Properties. She extended an apology for what happened…
The company also replied to individual Twitter users who similarly condemned their interview process after Daupan shared his experience and noted that the matter is already being investigated.
“We assure you that we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” part of their statement notes.
Hi @vinceliban, we’d like to share our official statement with you. We have been in touch with the parties involved and this matter is already under investigation. We assure you that we have zero tolerance for discrimination. pic.twitter.com/Z81ExnTfTs
— Century Properties (@CPGI_PH) November 9, 2018
Discrimination in the workplace
A 2018 study done by the United Nations Development Program notes that LGBT members in the Philippines continue to experience discrimination in the workplace due to the lack of people’s awareness of their rights.
The discrimination begins as early as job hunting alone.
Statistical figures in the study show that 23 percent of Filipinos reported “seeing a job advertisement that excludes their SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity or expression) in the job requirement.”
Meanwhile, 16 percent felt that they were “discouraged to apply for a particular job because it was ‘not appropriate for someone of (their) gender.'”
About 10 percent reported to “being denied a job specifically due to SOGIE.”
The study concluded that even though the country has passed local ordinances that protect people from being discriminated based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, there is still a gap in the national level.
“Implementation regulations are inadequate, and existing laws and ordinances that ban employment-related discrimination and harassment are not widely known or implemented, or contradict other laws or policies,” they added.
The Philippines in 2000 witnessed the filing of a SOGIE Equality or the Anti-Discrimination Bill that supported LGBT members’ rights to equal access to work, public accommodation, etc. As of August 29, the bill has already spent 623 days in its interpolation period at the Senate.