What is your name? Do you ever think you have been discriminated against because of it? Perhaps you didn’t receive a job interview because of it. OR you did receive a job interview because of its sweet sound to the job recruiter. How would you ever know if a recruiter is name bias? Well, change it, and see the response.
When I was interviewing pioneering African women for Wisdom Exchange TV, I would ask for their resume. I was amazed that each one of them would have their photo attached to it. In the West, that was considered a no, no since it could expose a bias. But as mentioned in the previous weWednesday [link], that bias can also work in your favour (positive prejudice). So to include a picture or not?
Similarly, your name could create the same sort of bias. Depending on which country you are applying for a job. Your name could influence a job opportunity, or be a barrier to entry.Depending on which country you are applying for a job. Your name could influence a job opportunity, or be a barrier to entry. Ensure you don't do this. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement Click To Tweet
Name bias can influence a job opportunity, or be a barrier to entry
An article written by Stéphanie Thomson in the World Economic Forum deserves sharing. She highlights how talent managers and recruiters favour certain ethnic names over others.
Here are some highlights:
- In 2011, researchers sent out almost 13,000 fake résumés to over 3,000 job postings. The academics went back to this data at the start of 2017 and found that people with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani-sounding names were 28% less likely to get invited to an interview than the fictitious candidates with English-sounding names, even when their qualifications were the same. That’s according to researchers at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.
- In some situations, discrimination was even worse. For example, if résumés had an Asian-sounding name paired with some or all foreign qualifications, employers were between 35% (in the case of large firms) and 60% (in the case of small firms) less likely to call the candidate for an interview.
- A smaller study commissioned by the French government last year found that employers were less likely to interview candidates with North African-sounding names.
- Over in the United Kingdom, an all-parliamentary group study from 2012 found that women who “whitened” their names or made them sound more British had to send only half as many applications before being invited to interview as those who sounded foreign.
What can we do about name bias?
According to the same World Economic Forum Article by Stéphanie Thomson, some big companies – HSBC, KPMG, and Deloitte, for example – have already implemented what is being called “name-blind recruitment” in an attempt to stamp out discrimination or name bias.
The problem with this approach is that it perhaps only delays the inevitable: once the candidate makes it to a face-to-face interview, unconscious (and sometimes conscious) bias rears its ugly head again. In Sweden, they conducted this nameless approach with no lift in hiring ethnically diverse people.
So why should we care? Well, one answer is inclusion – providing everyone with an equal opportunity to succeed. However, if you are not motivated by You in the YouMeWe mindset, which focuses on the consciousness of our actions and the impact on others, then try this one on for size, focus on Me – which is our responsibility to contribute. And if that still doesn’t do it for you – well let’s go deep, and do it for profits.
Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts. Those organizations that discriminate in their hiring aren’t just doing potential candidates a disservice – they’re shooting themselves in the foot. OUCH, now that smarts.Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their non-diverse counterparts. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement Click To Tweet
Do you think you have ever been favoured or discriminated against because of your name? Please share, where, when, and how, so we all become more aware of our biases.Do you think you have ever been favoured or discriminated against because of your name? Please share, where, when, and how, so we all can become more aware of our biases. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement Click To Tweet
In the next weWednesday we will focus on communication biases, the things we say and do that unconsciously reveal our preferences, and more importantly how to turn them into inclusion. Essential to engage teams, collaborators, and clients.
Until next time, make your contributions count.
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