Black People Have To “Whiten” Their CVs

A study reveals that cheating about race in CVs impact chances for Black people to get interviewed.

Katherine DeCelles from Harvard Business School and her co-thinkers from the University of Toronto and Stanford University have launched a study devoted to the phenomenon of racism at work “Whitened Résumés: Race and Self-Presentation in the Labor Market.” “Discrimination still exists in the workplace,”  DeCelles says. She studied the way people of color compose their CVs.

“Some applicants were willing to lose what could be seen as valuable pieces of human capital because they were more worried about giving away their race.”

The researchers called the way Black people looking for job clean up their résumés of anything that might indicate their race “whitening.”  For example, some applicants preferred to use initials instead of their ethnic names. Community connection and or professional links to African-American fraternities, sororities or other organizations are deleted on purpose. One student left out a prestigious scholarship he earned just because he feared it would reveal his race.

Although “whitening” looks and sounds rather unpleasant it seems to give good results. When researchers sent out whitened CVs  to 1,600 employers. twenty-five percent of Black people received callbacks compared to only 10 percent of those applicants who kept ethnic details intact on the same résumés.

So, dear white employers, stop lying to us!

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