Last week, we wrote about the surprising ways companies can still discriminate against people in certain cases, a list that includes judging people based on their youth or their responsibilities as a parent.
In a video published Saturday, BuzzFeed highlighted another subtle thing companies can use todiscriminate against applicants: their names.
In the video, a man named Jose Zamora tells the story of how he applied to 50 to 100 jobs every day for several months — without receiving a single response.
One day, he decided to drop the ‘s’ from his resume and go by the name of Joe. A week later, “Joe” was flooded with emails from prospective employers who wanted to meet with him.
“Sometimes I don’t even think people know, or are conscious, or aware that they’re judging, even if it’s by a name,” Zamora says in the video. “But I think we all do it all the time.”
While Zamora’s ignored resumes could very well be a form of discrimination based on race or national origin — both of which are illegal — it would be extremely difficult to prove based on any individual company’s decision not to respond to his application.
Indeed, Zamora’s experience is not an isolated one. Several studies have found that resumes with white-sounding names were more successful at getting responses than similarly qualified resumes with names suggesting they belonged to African-Americans or Latinos.
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