5 Toxic Stereotypes Of Veterans In The Workplace
Americans today have high regard for veterans. In a recent nationwide survey, civilians considered Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to be more of a "valuable asset" to this country than teachers, colleges and the Supreme Court. It's a far cry from this country's attitude toward the vets of Vietnam, who received no hero's welcome and often hid their service to avoid being on the receiving end of epithets.
But if the returning vet is no longer greeted with scorn, many are still greeted with stereotypes. The unemployment rate for veterans is significantly higher than the national average, and stereotyping by employers is one of the half dozen or so reasons why, according to Nathan Smith, the chief operating officer of Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit that helps veterans find jobs.
And sure enough, when the Center for a New American Security surveyed representatives from dozens of companies, many said negative stereotypes were one of the challenges associated with hiring veterans. Here are five of the most common stereotypes veterans face on their return:
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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