Employers likely to discriminate against ethnic names

June 18th, 2009 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 18 (IANS) Looking for a job during these tough economic times? Job applicants with an Anglo-Saxon name may find it easier to get an interview compared to those with ethnic names, according to new research from the Australian National University.
The study was conducted by ANU Professor Alison Booth and Professor Andrew Leigh. In order to estimate discrimination 4,000 fake CVs were sent to employers in response to job advertisements in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

“By varying the names on the CVs, we were able to estimate precisely the extent of hiring discrimination. Because all other characteristics are held constant, we can be sure that we are really measuring discrimination,” said Professor Booth.

The results suggested that “to get the same number of interviews as an applicant with an Anglo-Saxon name, a Chinese applicant must submit 68 percent more applications, a Middle Eastern applicant must submit 64 percent more applications, an Indigenous applicant 35 percent more and an Italian applicant must submit 12 percent more applications.”

The researchers also conducted two other experiments to measure racial and ethnic discrimination in the general population.

“In one experiment, we mailed letters to several thousand households, to see whether they returned them or put them in the bin,” said Professor Leigh. “We found that letters were slightly less likely to be returned if they were addressed to non-Anglo people.”

“In another experiment testing reaction speed, we found implicit discrimination against ethnic minority names, suggesting that part of the effect in the hiring experiment is likely to be subconscious.”

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