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Challenges getting hired because your name isn't 'white' enough?

It's incomprehensible that your name would matter when it comes to getting hired for a job, but a new survey in France reveals that people who have foreign-sounding names in Paris are less likely to receive calls from recruiters. Applicants with French-sounding names got 70 percent more responses from recruiters, while those with foreign-sounding names had a hard time getting a response.

Most Americans would balk at such a statistic, but the truth is, we suffer from the same kind of employment discrimination in the United States. One study titled, "Are Emily and Brendan More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?" sought to learn whether applicants face name discrimination in our country. The study revealed that if your name doesn't sound "white" enough in the United States, you're at a serious disadvantage when it comes to getting a job.

Do you have a "white" sounding name? Is it easy or hard to get a job?

In the "Are Emily and Brendan More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?" study, those whose names sounded white had a 50 percent higher chance of getting a job than those whose names sounded black. Furthermore, those whose names sounded black had to send out approximately 15 resumes to receive a callback. Meanwhile, those with white-sounding names only needed to send 10 resumes.

The researchers said that employers need to be careful not to discriminate against potential candidates on the basis of their names. According to the leader of 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."

Top employers suffer from a serious lack of diversity

The proof is in the pudding that discriminatory hiring practices like those described above are destroying workplace diversity. According to a recent statistic from Google, the company's global workforce consists of 3 percent Hispanic workers and 2 percent black workers. The BBC in the United Kingdom has also faced criticism because of its low levels of black and minority workers.

If you think a potential employer overlooked your job application because of an ethnic-sounding name, you might want to investigate whether racial or ethnic discrimination was involved. In such situations, workers who have suffered discrimination during hiring might want to learn more about their legal rights and options.

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