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What are whitened resumes?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2023 | EMPLOYMENT LAW (EMPLOYEE) - Workplace Discrimination

An interesting study has been done in the last few years to examine the presence of racial discrimination in hiring. In theory, companies are not supposed to discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. This is something that should never happen, and most companies will claim that they don’t even consider race when doing things like reviewing applications or deciding who to call in for interviews.

To test this, applicants began removing identifying information from their resumes. This could even include things like their name if it was most commonly associated with a certain ethnic group. It could include where they went to school or the clubs to which they belong. It’s not just that they wouldn’t directly mention their racial background. They would remove all indicators so that the hiring manager couldn’t make any assumptions about their race, and then they would send in the résumé.

What happened?

As you may have guessed, what happened is that applicants who “whitened” their resumes tended to get more callbacks and more interviews than those who did not. There was a clear discrepancy between the two groups. Researchers took this as evidence that companies were still discriminating, even when they claimed that they were not.

It’s important to keep this in mind because it shows how discrimination may happen even in situations where you wouldn’t expect it or where it has been expressly prohibited. It still occurs in the modern day, and employees need to be wary of it when applying for or performing their jobs. Those who feel that they have been discriminated against also need to know about the legal options they have at their disposal.