Minority job applicants who mask their race improve their chances of landing interviews, according to research from the Harvard Business School. The researchers found that by removing reference to race, Asian and African-American job applicants were twice as likely to be called for an interview.
Harvard investigators sent out 1,600 résumés for Asian and African-American applicants looking for entry-level jobs. Some résumés highlighted the candidates’ race; others were “whitened,” removing all racial clues. Employers’ responses favored those applicants who had removed reference to race.
Even employers who claim to value diversity fared poorly, the study found. The researchers said this pointed out a disconnect between the organizations’ pro-diversity stances and their behaviors.
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