First off…Kayaking will lead to your losing your black card?
Damn…Was in the process of buying one for my shallow salt water fishing forays! I mean – is it blacker if it has an electric motor?:)
Almost any minority in the private industry high-tech fields is familiar with employment racism. It is legion (along with age discrimination), especially in the software and Internet industries. Surrounded by like looking individuals an cushioned by homogeneity, most of the folks in the senior management of many of the big names companies aren’t even aware of it, and how decisions they make promulgate it.
At worst, the black or minority applicant, worker will run into outright racism. I speak with with a very non-identifiable “Midwestern dialect” with a slight southern inflection. In the business world, it is very important to communicate clearly, and that pretty much is the Gold Standard. I had an advantage of learning it growing up, living in an International community of American professionals who worked around the world. It is de rigueur when speaking before large crowds of several thousands in business, And a lot of white guys who speak it…Didn’t learn it at home either. Since it is neutral, few, if any of the folks I talk to on the phone know I am a black person – because it doesn’t fit their stereotype. This has led to some interesting conversations, including a Headhunter from a major Software Firm calling, and letting slip in the “get to know you” conversation – “The CEO doesn’t want any “nigs” in the company”.
So called “Diversity” efforts at many companies are nothing more than a smokescreen or farce, as there are no consequences to failure. Ergo – If I want something to happen in a business, I tie it to your next raise, or bonus. You achieve “x” revenue or goal in “y” months and you get paid “z” for success and/or get promoted, and quite possibly put on the slippery slope out the door if you fail. Management by Objectives. If you look closely at how companies implement those “Diversity” programs you will notice very quickly how, almost universally the “Objectives” part is missing.
So the process of changing the Takwanieshawanna name your ignorant Mom stuck you with, or even Asian or South Asian names which are difficult for Americans to pronounce…It probably is a good idea when sending out resumes. As a warning, any company requesting a picture …Isn’t interested in hiring you. Even filling out the requested EEO information in the application process more often is detrimental than not.
Along the way there are several other minefields for the Minority applicant.
The process of whitewashing that resume also includes whitewashing that online presence. Major business networking sites like LinkedIn request a photo of the Member. For minority applicants and members that in itself can be the kiss of death, as prospective employers frequently check business network sites for profiles and presence.
The job prospects of minority applicants who alter their names or experiences reveal some discouraging truths about workplace diversity efforts.
For some time now, business-school professors and HR professionals have touted the virtues of diversity in the workplace, encouraging companies and their executives to take action. The typical rationales range from moral arguments—that it’s simply the right thing to do—to more practical motivations, such as covering companies’ blind spots by having a more diverse team of problem-solvers, improving bottom lines as a result.
For companies who hear those arguments and decide to put some effort into becoming more diverse, the next steps are less straightforward. Researchers from U.C. Santa Barbara recently wrote in Harvard Business Review that despite the fact that companies spend millions on diversity programs and policies, they rarely bring results. In fact, their data showed that diversity programs simply made white workers feel that their employer was now treating minorities fairly——whether that was true or not. An increasing number of diversity initiatives are looking like they’re all talk.
A new study done by researchers at the University of Toronto and Stanford University adds another dimension to this predicament. The findings suggest that the stated aspirations of companies to become more diverse haven’t changed how they go about hiring, and that minority candidates responding to job openings that welcome diverse backgrounds might find their prospects of being hired just as limited as before.
The researchers looked into the practice of “whitening” resumes, in which minority job seekers scrub away language that might reveal their race, for fear that can it lead to conscious or unconscious discrimination—for instance, altering a “foreign-sounding” first name to something that sounds “more American.” The motivation for doing this is cynically pragmatic: The game’s not fair, so why not even the playing field in the resume-screening stage to at least get an interview?
First, the researchers conducted in-depth interview with 59 black and Asian students who were seeking jobs and internships. They found that 36 percent of their interviewees reported whitening their resumes, and two-thirds of the respondents knew of friends or family who had done so in the past. “We had first started hearing about whitening within the last few years from our students,” explained Sonia Kang, an associate professor of management at the University of Toronto and the paper’s lead author. “Students who were applying for jobs were telling us that this is something that they were doing, and something their friends were doing, and something they had sometimes been told to do when they went to career counselors.”
In addition to altering names on resumes—something half of the students in the study who whitened their resumes reported doing—the researchers discovered other common strategies for whitening resumes. For instance, some students would omit or tweak experiences so employers couldn’t identify their race. Students reported toning down racial identifiers, such as omitting being part of black or asian professional associations. Also, job seekers would purposely add experiences they considered “white”—“outdoorsy stuff such as hiking, kayaking,” Kang says. “Those were the kinds of things that people thought were tied to more mainstream white American culture.”
The study then measured how a group of minority students responded to pro-diversity language, and established that minority job seekers both pick up and react to these cues: The participants were 1.5 times less likely to whiten resumes for employers who signal that they care about diversity.
Then, the researchers tested how the labor market responded to whitening, and whether companies that emphasized the importance of diversity in their job postings would evaluate whitened resumes. They created two sets of resumes, one whitened and the other not, and randomly sent them in response to 1,600 job postings in 16 U.S. cities. They found that whitened resumes were twice as likely to get callbacks—a pattern that held even for companies that emphasized diversity.
“The most troubling part is that we saw the same kind of rates for employers who said that they were pro-diversity [in job postings] and the ones that didn’t mention it,” said Kang. “Employers are sending signals, that students are picking up on, that this is a safe place where you can use your real name and real experiences. But [the students] are not being rewarded at all. … The statements the employers are putting out there aren’t really tied to any real change in the discriminatory practices.”…Read The Rest Here…