May 18, 2017 07:33 AM EDT
A new study revealed that racial discrimination still exists in the workplace. It indicates that Asians and African Americans who 'whiten' their resumes get more job interviews than those who don't.
According to the study called "Whitened Resumes: Race and Self-Presentation in the Labor Market," minorities who do not reveal their race in their resumes are twice more likely to get a job interview than those who do. What's more alarming is that the practice is even happening in companies who claim to be pro-diversity.
What the researchers did was create resumes for Asians and African-Americans and sent them to 1,600 entry-level job positions they found in employment websites. These jobs are scattered across 16 metropolitan areas in the United States.
The researchers 'whitened' or removed any racial clues in some of the resumes while the others included an obvious clue to the applicants' racial background. They also assigned phone numbers and emails to the applicants to find out who will get more interviews.
The results were astounding and eye-opening. Twenty-one percent of Asians who left out their minority status received more callbacks than those who didn't. Among African-Americans, 25 percent received callbacks than their counterparts who did not 'whiten' their resumes.
What's more surprising is that those companies who indicated they are equal opportunity employers or that they welcome minorities to apply discriminate against applicants of colors as much as those who didn't indicate diversity in their job ads.
Katherine A. DeCelles, the James M. Collins Visiting Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the co-author of the study, said that applicants are at an even greater risk for discrimination when applying with pro-diversity employers because they make themselves more vulnerable.
However, she doesn't believe that employers are doing it on purpose to trap applicants who belong to minority groups. She said that there might be a disconnect between the people who write the job ads and those who screen the resumes.
However, for the minorities who have experienced the discriminations firsthand, the findings confirm what they already know - that their race works against them and that there is a need to hide them if they want to level the playing field.
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