Recently Agnok Lueth, a Sudanese-Australian man, was having a hard time finding a job. Despite applying to over 1,000 jobs that matched his professional experience, Lueth came up empty. In a fit of desperation he decided to send out resumes under a stereotypically “White” name—Daniel McLean—and the callbacks came rolling in. Although none of the calls led to interviews or jobs, Lueth’s experiment confirmed what many have long thought—job seekers with “ethnic” sounding names have a tougher time catching the eye of employers.

According to Jezebel, a similar experiment was conducted in the U.S. During the study, researchers sent out 5,000 resumes with stereotypically Black names and stereotypically White names. Despite having similar job experience, guess who got the most callbacks?

Anna North of Jezebel writes:

“They found that “job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback.” What’s more, improved credentials had more of an effect on the fate of white-sounding applicants than of black-sounding ones — while people named Greg could look forward to more callbacks if they had more experience, the same wasn’t necessarily the case for people named Jamal.”

Despite it being illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, Lueth’s experiment shows, once again, that racial discrimination is still a problem many of us face each day.


Do you have an ethnic-sounding name? Have you found it difficult to find a job? Let’s talk about it! 

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