Myth #8: “The Job Market Is Not Biased Towards White People”
Reality: While we may like to fool ourselves into thinking that when applying to a job we all have an even footing and will be judged based solely on our merit, research has shown that this is not the case.
A Canadian study sent out over 13,000 fake résumés to over 3,000 job positions. They found that those with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani-sounding names were 28% less likely to get an interview compared to those who had English-sounding names when qualifications were identical. Worse still 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 give the candidate an interview.
This isn’t just the case in Canada either where the study was initially conducted. In France people with North African sounding names were less likely to get past the application stage and here in the UK women who made their names sound more “white” on average had to only send out half the number of applications compared to those who didn’t.
So far many approaches have been taken to try and tackle this issue such as unconscious bias training (which has been shown to be somewhat helpful) and anonymous résumés (which a Swedish study showed to be ineffective due to it “prolonging the inevitable” with face to face interviews). However, figures still show that this is a huge problem in society.