In recent years organizations from all spectrums have made efforts to bring people of color into their workplace. However, they still face many restrictions climbing the corporate ladder.
Various studies in North American have highlighted that people of color still face more barriers getting into the workplace, never mind climbing the corporate ladder.
A study complied several years ago by Professor Phillip Oreopoulos at the University of British Columbia, Canada and reported on CBC News revealed that applicants with English sounding names had a 40% greater chance of finding employment. In this study, six thousand mock resumes were sent in Toronto with English names and then with ethnic names such as Singh or Chu.
The result: English names received 40% more call backs for an interview than Pakistan, Indian or Chinese names, even though the resumes had the same qualification, including a BA plus six years of training.
A similar study was conducted in the USA, in both Boston and Chicago, and found similar results. White sounding names were 50% more likely to be called back for blue-collar positions than African-American names.
This may or may not surprise you, it should give us a pause. Leaders of organizations say that they want to support diversity, but the underlying processes, biases and awareness results in the opposite behavior.
Despite all this talk, discrimination continues to happen against minorities, forming and supporting stereotypes, and avoiding people who are different from us. Often, such biases are due to cultural, historical and social factors which are learned, but that is no excuse in today’s diverse business climate.
In the long term, such practices are detrimental to company’s productivity and profitability.