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Resume experiment shows that racial bias starts at the hiring process

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2021 | Workplace discrimination |

Workplace discrimination used to be widespread and legal on grounds like race or gender. There are now strict laws against it, which has opened new doors in careers everywhere to women, people of color and other minorities.

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, don’t make the mistake of assuming that employment discrimination no longer exists. In fact, it often starts before someone even has a job.

Whitening resumes shows how racial discrimination affects the hiring process

For just one example of how discrimination still happens, consider the resume process as people apply for jobs. Minority candidates often do not get calls for interviews at the same rate that white job candidates do. It’s easy for employers to point to some other issues besides race, or to just not give a reason at all for not calling minority job applicants — and many denied that such discrimination happened. 

To see if it made a difference, however, some candidates “whitened” their resumes. This can be done in numerous ways. For instance, it could be as simple as entering a false name, a “white” version of an ethnic name, like “James” for “Jamal.” Or, if he candidate was part of a minority student group in college, they could leave that off of the resume — or sub in another group that didn’t have the same ethnic ties.

Essentially, they artificially doctored their resumes to make it look like they were white, even though they were not. All of the qualifications were left the same. What they found is that they got far more interviews with these new resumes. Since race was the only thing that had changed, it was clear that race was the reason they did not get an interview before. 

Facing discrimination in the workplace is easier with help

As you can see, discrimination still happens. You can definitely find yourself facing it in the workplace, even after you get the job. If this happens, it’s crucial for you to understand all of the legal options you have