All names are not created equal because certain sounding names can dictate how successful one is going to be in the corporate world. Chances are if your name is Anglo-Saxon sounding, it is almost a guarantee that you will be the first choice when it comes getting hired and being successful in climbing the corporate ladder.
A 2004 study conducted by researchers Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan in the U.S. highlighted that Black names had almost 50 per cent less chance of getting a call back for an interview than Anglo-Saxon sounding names. The study comprised of 5,000 résumés and 1,300 jobs.
In Canada, similar studies highlighted the same scenario where South Asian and Asian names had almost 39 percent less chance of getting a call back for a job interview.
I personally experienced this when I got into the radio business in the 1980’s. When I went on the air to broadcast news, immediately the switchboard would light up with callers calling to complain, “Take that Hindu off the air”. I was saying to myself at that time, you people cannot even get the right religion.
The owner of the radio station decided to change my name to Tony Gill, so the listeners would somehow magically think that I was Italian, and it worked. Callers stop calling to complain.
My situation happened a long time ago, but the unfortunate part is that it still even occurs today.
In Canada, according to Statistic Canada by 2031 almost 33 percent of the workforce will come from immigrants due to low birth rates and baby-boomers beginning to retire.
In my workshops I Often encourage new immigrants to modify their first names which increases their chances of getting a call back for an interview and hopefully a job.