usually given out with an application form
for a job
, and containing questions about the sub-group identity
of the applicant
: often race
, ethnic origin
or national origin
(though these are often conflate
d in a way that makes anyone with a complex or mixed background tear their hair out
, marital status
, occasionally sexuality
or sexual orientation
, and whether you have care of
children or other dependants
Normally, you will be asked not to fill in your name on the form, and to leave it detatched from the application form itself, though there will always be a place for a code to be filled in, to link the form to your application.
This form is meant to be used in order to monitor the relative number of successful and unsuccessful applicants who come from each of these populations, compared to either the local or national numbers who belong to them. They should be able to tell the employer if they reject a disproportionate number of male candidates, for example, or don't ever have any Asian job applicants.
In practice, it's not at all unusual to find institutions who've been using these forms for years, but can't give you any breakdown of the results. Often, it seems, they don't even bother to generate the statistics. At best, the categories included on the form can give you a general idea of whether the institution has thought at all about equal opportunuties in any given area. Often, you'll just get the impression that the employer just saw that everyone else has one, and thought they'd join in.