Technically speaking, employers in the United States are not supposed to discriminate when deciding who to hire. Everyone who applies is supposed to be given equal consideration.
Of course, it can be hard for people to know if they actually got equal consideration or not. They may simply never get called back. Are they being discriminated against? It’s hard to tell, but one experiment shows that discrimination is still very likely and may happen in any industry.
What’s in a name?
Workers have tested for discrimination by looking for signals in their resumes that may show what race they are. Perhaps the most common is the name.
Studies have shown that job applicants who had names that could easily be perceived as being part of African American culture tended to get one call back for every 15 resumes that they sent out. If those applicants had names that were perceived to be part of Caucasian culture, however, they would get one callback for every 10 resumes that they sent out.
This statistic has been illustrated by those who have, becoming frustrated with the lack of callbacks, decided to lie about their names or otherwise “whiten” their resumes. They have often found that they have better response rates if they change their name to something that doesn’t appear to be part of a minority group.
You don’t have to accept discrimination
This type of discrimination is still illegal, but these examples show just how easy it is for it to happen and how common it still is. If this has happened to you, you need to know what legal steps you can take.