Technically, all companies are supposed to give equal opportunities to people of any background. A worker should not feel that they can’t get a job based on their race, religion, ethnic background, age, gender and much else. These are protected classes.
However, some studies have found that there is still a significant amount of discrimination when it comes to hiring. Companies may say that they are open to all employees, but is it true?
The callback percentages tell a different story
To see if applicants of different ethnicities were given fair treatment, some African American workers decided to “whiten” their resumes. Even if they hadn’t started their race directly, they removed signals, such as groups that they had been part of or where they went to high school. Some of them would even change their names to make them sound more white if they had a name traditionally connected to African American communities.
The contrast was striking. About 10% of the resumes sent out by African American workers got callbacks. After they “whitened” those resumes so that they disguised their race, 25% of the resumes got callbacks. They hadn’t changed anything else about their experience or education level. All that changed was this perception of their race. Those who conducted the study say that this means businesses are still discriminating, even if they’re not overt about it.
What can you do?
If you feel like you’ve been discriminated against or harassed on the job, or if your ability to get a job has been limited, make sure you know about your legal options. Remember that discrimination can happen even if the company tries very hard to disguise what they’re doing.