Thursday, May 26, 2016

Even diversity-friendly employers discriminate against racial minority job seekers

Maybe those who did not "whiten" their resumes were seen as people who were less inclined to cooperation.

Even diversity-friendly employers discriminate against racial minority job seekers

Minority applicants may fare even worse in the resume pile at companies purporting to support diversity than they would at companies that don't make the claim, shows a new study from the University of Toronto.

That's because job seekers are less likely to "whiten" their resumes by downplaying their racial identities when responding to pro-diversity job ads. The odds of getting a callback for an interview when resumes are not whitened are significantly worse, regardless of whether the company says it's a pro-diversity employer or not. On the other hand, hiding one's race by "whitening" was found to improve minorities' chances of landing an interview.


The paper examined resume; whitening: changing or deleting aspects of one's resume; to conceal or downplay one's race. The researchers found that while some minority job seekers rejected this practice, roughly one-third of Asian and black job seekers in the study "whitened" their resumes by either altering their first name -- sometimes substituting a middle name or initial, or something more "American-sounding" -- or removing professional experiences and achievements related to their racial group, or both. Even if participants didn't personally engage in whitening, two-thirds knew of others who did.

Participants mentioned that one reason they would refrain from whitening is if an organization included a pro-diversity statement in their job ad, and a subsequent experiment confirmed that minority job seekers were half as likely to whiten their resumes when applying to an employer touting diversity values.

However, a final audit study found callbacks for interviews from employers that mentioned diversity in their job ads were just as low for unwhitened minority resumes as they were from any other employer. Whitened resumes were more than twice as likely to get a callback, regardless of whether or not an employer's job ad mentioned diversity.


No comments:

Post a Comment