As a child, having your name mispronounced hurts. But what happens as an adult, when your name hurts your chances of earning a fair living?
“We may think we don’t discriminate, but many of us are guided by our unconscious biases, snap judgments we make without realizing it. A 2003 field study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that résumés bearing names associated with whites got almost 50 percent more callbacks than those associated with African Americans. I love the idea of a blind requirement, which is an act of removing name, gender, and educational background from applications to reduce biases. However, I am also not foolish enough nor naïve enough to think blind recruitment alone will get us very far, that is why I like Diya Khanna’s three points of change for equity in the workforce.
- Hiring for growth versus fit. Organizations should be hiring for who they want to be instead of who they are. One solution is to have a roster of current employee strengths, take inventory of what is missing, and use it to guide the organization’s hiring.
- Investing in company equity. Companies should make diversity and inclusion a part of their mission.
- Valuing lived experiences. What companies need to do is diversify their definition of an ideal candidate. One way to do this is by developing an interest in the experiences not traditionally captured in recruiting processes. What has the applicant done outside the workforce? Where have they lived? What obstacles have they faced? All companies can benefit from these unique perspectives.