Wednesday, September 27

What if my name is Jamal and I am White? Shall I send my picture in with my CV?

My friend just posted an interesting blog entry that caught my eye. Thanks H!

I just wanted to follow up on that. So the background is that according to ABC News,
The resumes with the white-sounding names were actually downloaded 17 percent more often by job recruiters than the resumes with black-sounding names.

I did some more google searches and I found more article on the subject and subsequent studies on this trend. According to the website

A recent study shows that people with "white-sounding" names are 50 percent more likely to get a response to their resume than are those with "black-sounding" names.

The study, done by professors at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology and the University of Chicago Graduate school of Business, mailed 5,000 resumes in response to job ads in both the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune. Four resumes were sent for each job posting; two well-qualified resumes, one each with a "black-" and "white-sounding" name, and two lesser qualified resumes, again one each for black and white.

Whites Receive More Responses
The resumes that had less gaps in employment and higher-level skills - if they belonged to "white-sounding names - had a 30 percent greater chance of being responded to than the less qualified resume. However, this was not true for the same skilled resume of a "black-sounding" name.

Names were chosen after a study of birth certificates. "White" names included Kristen, Greg, Neil, Emily, Brett, Anne, and Jill. "Black" names included Kareem, Tamika, Rasheed, Ebony, Aisha, and Tyrone. Resumes with "black-sounding" names had only a 6.7 percent chance of receiving a response to their resume, while resumes with "white-sounding" names had a 10.1 percent chance .

The study found as much discrimination in less-skilled jobs, such as cashiering and mailroom attendants, as in more heavily skills-based positions such as regional sales manager and assistant to the president jobs.

That's not all....Read on!! The website asked viewers question about solutions. THis is what they had to say.

Faced with this insidious form of discrimination, we have much to still overcome. But, does that mean that the "good ol'" hostile, blatant form of discrimination has been eradicated?

One letter we received, in response to the Connections program, wrote:

We have had a growing problem with blacks ever since we passed segregation laws. Blacks have grown ever more arrogant. They go around with chips on their should (sic). They are smart ass (sic) talking. The (sic) breed like a bunch of rabbits and the men fail to take care of their kids. They think everybody owes them.

Clearly, we are now battling that which we always have - and that which even "good" people have difficulty discarding from their perceptions and attitudes.

And it is not just between blacks and whites.

Here is another selection from our email bag:

I am a white man and your beliefs disturb me and you need to realize that the white man will bring down you dirty indians (sic) ...

Some of the solutions that were suggested were that if a company is REALLY all for diversity, then they will make it their goal. I think that's great. Hopefully more company's will join the bandwagon.

So much for white and black names...I wonder what'll happen with me when I start applying....

So what then should you do if your name is Jamal and you don't an interview. Fuck that! Don't do anything. One has to stand by one's principles. If the recruiter doesn't think you're good enough for the job because your name says so, then you don't want to work for that company in the first place. Agreed, I am in no position to claim such a harsh stance since I am not looking for a job currently, and have never tasted the depair of a futile job hunt and being without work....but I if you're black or brown or whatever, then you've experienced far more adversity than just not getting phone calls back from potential employers. The world is still racist and solution isn't adapting to the conformations of an unjust society but it is to live with this adversity as best as one can and confronting it.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. There is still discrimination. I think society has gone to far in subjected people to their names. People are individuals and individual names make up a society which should be treated as such. I have a stupid q? What is CV?

omarhaq said...

from wiki!
A CV is a summary of academic and professional history and achievements

Basically a lot longer than a resume. Most academics write CV's rather than resume since they have more acheivements and papers and scholarships and so on