A new study finds French job applicants with foreign-sounding names are much less likely to get callbacks from recruiters.
Via Forbes reports:
Researchers from the Paris School of Economics and Stanford University sent out fake resumes to apply for real jobs in Paris. All six resumes detailed identical work experience. The only differentiator was language skills on two of the resumes.
The two French-sounding names received 70% more callbacks than the other four names – two of North African origin, and two that sounded foreign, but were hard to place.
“Foreign applicants, whether their speciﬁc minority group is identiﬁed or not, are equally disadvantaged as compared to French applicants across all dimensions under study – for both genders, and whether or not more information is available in the application,” the paper found. The reason? Homophily – a preference for people who are more like you.
Unfortunately, findings like these are not limited to our French counterparts. American researchers had similar conclusions in a study: “Are Emily and Brendan More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?”
Applicants with white-sounding names were 50% more likely to get called for an initial interview than applicants with black-sounding names. Applicants with white names need to send about 10 resumes to get one callback. Applicants with black names need to send about 15 resumes to achieve the same result.
Once again, homophily prevails.
“We’re not claiming that employers engage in discriminatory behavior consciously, or that this is necessarily an issue of racism,” wrote Marianne Bertrand, a researcher on the study. “It is important to teach people in charge of hiring about the subconscious biases they may have, and figure out a way to change these patterns.”
With discrimination starting so early in the hiring process, what chance do people of different races and ethnicities even have of getting into leadership positions?