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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:39 AM

Workplace discrimination prompts 'whitened' job applications

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20608039

Jorden Berkeley, a black 22-year-old university graduate from London, spent four months applying for jobs but getting no responses from bigger companies, and offers from elsewhere that were limited to unpaid work experience.

Then a careers adviser suggested Miss Berkeley drop her first name and start using her middle name, Elizabeth.

"I did not really understand this seeing as my name isn't stereotypically 'ethnic' or hard to pronounce, but it was worth a try and I changed it anyway," she said. "I have been getting call backs ever since."

She added: "I have many, many friends who were effectively told to 'whiten' their CVs by dropping ethnic names or activities that could be associated with blackness. It was a very sad realisation."

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:51 AM

1. Years ago, 60 Minutes did a segment

demonstrating the discrimination minorities face in the work place and in everyday activities. They showed the difference in how long it took a white man to hail a cab in NYC as compared to a black man. It was sad.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:22 AM

2. Actually, it's not just "blackness".

Several years ago, when I was in a paralegal program, part of which involved advising us about our resumes, we were also advised to make our resumes as neutral as possible. I must hasten to add that this was in Kansas, and every single one of us was white. But one or two students in the program were Jewish, and there may have been some other ethnic groups I missed. I can recall one young woman stating rather loudly that she would not even consider purging her resume of the things that identified her as Jewish.

On one hand, I admire her honesty, on the other, I thought she was being highly impractical.

I was married for twenty-five years to a Jewish man. Neither his name nor his appearance gave that away. In fact, he often found it quite amusing that he "passed" and of course had ways to signal his ethnicity to other Jews. He also found it quite interesting that for a number of years in a particular job, none of his co-workers had any idea he was Jewish, and so he could be a fly on the wall and listen to any comments that they made relevant to Jews.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:42 AM

7. I remember an interview in a prominent company in which, at the end of the interview, the

interviewer raised her eyebrows and said to me, "Everyone in this company goes to church." Years later I realized that was her way of telling me that the company did not hire Jewish people. I am not Jewish. Far from it, so I was very puzzled. That happened in the early 1990s.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:37 AM

3. this hit home for me years ago when my oldest child was born

my then husband insisted on 'average' sounding names because as he said he did not want a future employer to look at her application and say "Black" into the circular file with it

that 30 years later this still exists is sad beyond words

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:58 AM

4. There was a study done in the US, same resume, only difference was in the names

Some resumes had 'white' names, others had 'black'.

You can guess what happened.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-575685.html

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:38 AM

5. If you graduated from college a long time ago, you should hide that too.

You might manage to get in the door and impress someone at an interview. But if your college graduation dates shows you are of a certain age, older than the employer intends to hire someone, you will be out before you get started.

Age discrimination, color discrimination and, yes, disability and gender discrimination are still barriers to getting an interview if they are discernible from your resume. That was my experience 20 years ago, and I think things have gotten worse, not better in this respect.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:53 AM

8. Ah, yes. I'd forgotten about the age thing.

You'd think I be very aware of that since I'm 64.

We were also told to only list jobs and experience in the last ten years. If, like me, all of our job experience was longer ago than that, not to give the actual dates we worked, only the length of time and our duties and such like.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 03:41 AM

6. I've redacted my resume to lop off 15 years of my life and accomplishments, so as

 

to combat rampant age discrimination. Sad and sorry truth: it works to get the interview, but once they see you're over 50, it's no dice. Really sure-fire sign that American capitalism (and possibly global capitalism) is in a late-term death spiral. Only question is whether it dies before I do, but it's a matter of time nevertheless.

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