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Ethnic names and interviews/hiring in law jobs

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I'm wondering if anyone has come across a study similar to the one conducted by this UofT researcher:

 

You may have a string of prestigious degrees and years of experience in Canada, but potential employers may never get that far into your résumé if your name sounds foreign, a new study has found.

 

An underlying reason appears to be subconscious discrimination, the researchers suggest.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/how-an-ethnic-sounding-name-may-affect-the-job-hunt/article2240355/page2/

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I've never seen a similar study but I have to say that, from my experience, it isn't likely to happen. My graduating class had probably close to half the class with 'ethnic' sounding names, including the gold medal winner, and I don't know of any of them that had difficulty finding a job. Anecdotal, of course, but I just don't see it happening to any significant degree in law these days.

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I have not seen a similar study like this before. However, a lawyer whom has been in the practice for many years told me about the outright discrimination in the law profession. She gave me an example of a now partner at a 7 sister firm who could not get an articling position because of his name. Even though he was born and raised in Canada.

 

I don't want to believe that because I have a ethnic sounding last name it is the reason I can't find articles. But, her theory is similar to several other seasoned lawyers I have talked to.

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I have not seen a similar study like this before. However, a lawyer whom has been in the practice for many years told me about the outright discrimination in the law profession. She gave me an example of a now partner at a 7 sister firm who could not get an articling position because of his name. Even though he was born and raised in Canada.

 

I don't want to believe that because I have a ethnic sounding last name it is the reason I can't find articles. But, her theory is similar to several other seasoned lawyers I have talked to.

Hopefully talking to senior partners about their experiences is only a reflection of how the system used to be, not what the system currently is. Personally, I haven't observed any sort of correlation which would support the conclusions in this study. I can fully appreciate that I'm just a single data point but a ton of ppl w whom i've worked have "ethnic names". Perhaps more importantly, a lot of recruiters I've met have had "ethnic names".

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This may vary from city to city, but I would say that it may be slightly true where I am, based on anecdotal conversations with other students. I haven't experienced it personally, but I don't have an ethnic name.

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I have not seen a similar study like this before. However, a lawyer whom has been in the practice for many years told me about the outright discrimination in the law profession. She gave me an example of a now partner at a 7 sister firm who could not get an articling position because of his name. Even though he was born and raised in Canada.

 

I don't want to believe that because I have a ethnic sounding last name it is the reason I can't find articles. But, her theory is similar to several other seasoned lawyers I have talked to.

Not...sure...if....trolling.... :|

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Bertrand & Mullainathan (2003) support this notion stating that African Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed and when employed, earn up to twenty-five percent less than their caucasian counterparts (P. 2). One theory surrounding this issue is an inherent racism. For example, when handing in a resume with identical credentials, whites are fifty percent more likely to receive a call for an interview than African American individuals are (ibid).

 

Bertrand, Marianne, & Mullainathan, Sendhil. (2003). Are Emily and Greg More

Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. Poverty Action Lab Paper No. 3. January 2003.

 

A extract from I paper I wrote a long time ago.

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Topics like this are problematic to say the least. I am tempted to say that in Canada a lot of people have "ethnic" sounding names, whether they be from Europe, Africa, Latin America, or Asia. Unless by "ethnic" names you mean non-white names such as John Smith or Rebecca Peters. Now, although I am a white/Caucasian individual and was successful in the OCI process, I can name at least 2 peers of mine with completely ethnic (non-white) names who received about 6 offers between them, including sister firms. These two are amazing candidates with great grades and great experiences. However hard their names were to pronounce did not deter them from getting tonnes of first round interviews, a generous number of in-firms and a handful of offers.

 

I just find the paper's thesis hard to believe in a Canadian context. This is not to deny that there is not some sort of underlying discrimination out there. Excellent applicants get pick by the best firms, despite your names.

Edited by yogi

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Bertrand & Mullainathan (2003) support this notion stating that African Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed and when employed, earn up to twenty-five percent less than their caucasian counterparts (P. 2). One theory surrounding this issue is an inherent racism. For example, when handing in a resume with identical credentials, whites are fifty percent more likely to receive a call for an interview than African American individuals are (ibid).

 

Bertrand, Marianne, & Mullainathan, Sendhil. (2003). Are Emily and Greg More

Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. Poverty Action Lab Paper No. 3. January 2003.

 

A extract from I paper I wrote a long time ago.

I find it troubling that you posted only your conclusion here with no qualifiers pulled from your weaknesses section (3.5). Further to this, the weaknesses of your methodology could have, in my opinion, been greatly expanded upon. Your paper did not come close to solidifying the assertion I have bolded above.

 

Next time: "This study was an interesting project. Speaking to these issues in a public forum helps to prevent racially motivated inequalities in the workplace. You need to know there were some huge holes in our methodology and, though we might be right on the money - indicating there is a huge problem that needs to be addressed - we might also be way off base". We did what we could with the resources available, to prompt a discussion, not force a conclusion."

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I find it troubling that you posted only your conclusion here with no qualifiers pulled from your weaknesses section (3.5). Further to this, the weaknesses of your methodology could have, in my opinion, been greatly expanded upon. Your paper did not come close to solidifying the assertion I have bolded above.

 

Next time: "This study was an interesting project. Speaking to these issues in a public forum helps to prevent racially motivated inequalities in the workplace. You need to know there were some huge holes in our methodology and, though we might be right on the money - indicating there is a huge problem that needs to be addressed - we might also be way off base". We did what we could with the resources available, to prompt a discussion, not force a conclusion."

 

 

The thing is, it's not a completely implausible hypothesis. People who are actually hiring employees generally don't interrogate their own attitudes toward the applicants very carefully--and when you're looking at a resume it's certainly possible that the name means a lot more than most recruiters even realize.

 

My issue is with this generic term "ethnic." (Of course, one issue is that every name is "ethnic." I mean.... think about it for a second). But I sense that in this case we're talking about names from which ethnicity can reasonably be inferred without meeting a person face to face.

 

But even that probably isn't narrow enough. In the broadest sense, I have a very "ethnic" name myself, but I sense that 'Scandinavian/Norse' is not the "ethnic" that is being referred to in this hypothesis--which means that it is probably worth refining exactly what kind of discrimination we're talking about here. Do we mean "ethnic" in this broad sense--as in 'not Anglo-Saxon'? Or do we mean names that reveal race--in which case, what we're really talking about is racism, and we shouldn't beat around the bush about it. But do "asian-sounding" names meet with the same kinds of discrimination as "african-american" names, or "middle eastern" names?

 

When you start with muddy categories, I think it's likely you'll get muddled results. I don't doubt that there is a not insignificant amount of discrimination in hiring processes of various sorts, be it race-based, gender-based, ethnicity-based, weight-based, attractiveness-based, mustache-based, etc. But we can't just lump it all into one big ball of "that ain't fair"--it has to be parceled out if any "study" of these effects is to yield results that are even a little bit useful.

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I find it troubling that you posted only your conclusion here with no qualifiers pulled from your weaknesses section (3.5). Further to this, the weaknesses of your methodology could have, in my opinion, been greatly expanded upon. Your paper did not come close to solidifying the assertion I have bolded above.

 

Next time: "This study was an interesting project. Speaking to these issues in a public forum helps to prevent racially motivated inequalities in the workplace. You need to know there were some huge holes in our methodology and, though we might be right on the money - indicating there is a huge problem that needs to be addressed - we might also be way off base". We did what we could with the resources available, to prompt a discussion, not force a conclusion."

 

Just an excerpt from an essay pointing to an interesting study as the OP was wondering if there was any other similar studies. It wasen't meant to be taken as conclusive.

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Just an excerpt from an essay pointing to an interesting study as the OP was wondering if there was any other similar studies. It wasen't meant to be taken as conclusive.

So then, you concede that the Leafs are a better overall team.

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Topics like this are problematic to say the least. I am tempted to say that in Canada a lot of people have "ethnic" sounding names, whether they be from Europe, Africa, Latin America, or Asia. Unless by "ethnic" names you mean non-white names such as John Smith or Rebecca Peters. Now, although I am a white/Caucasian individual and was successful in the OCI process, I can name at least 2 peers of mine with completely ethnic (non-white) names who received about 6 offers between them, including sister firms. These two are amazing candidates with great grades and great experiences. However hard their names were to pronounce did not deter them from getting tonnes of first round interviews, a generous number of in-firms and a handful of offers.

 

I just find the paper's thesis hard to believe in a Canadian context. This is not to deny that there is not some sort of underlying discrimination out there. Excellent applicants get pick by the best firms, despite your names.

 

 

I think we need to be careful of using those that have exceptional stats as examples. If you're comparing "ethnic" person with awesome stats with "non-ethnic" person with okay stats for example, most likely you're gonna go with the former. While as if you're picking amongst all average stats, then epparently employers aren't willing to take a risk in fear of the "ethnic" person's potential language barriers (or whatever else we may assume).

 

And furthermore, having worked in a volunteer environment where I have to help people pick a lawyer, I can tell you 100% that if the client can't pronounce the lawyer's name, they won't choose them as a lawyer. Just some food for thought, imply whatever you may wish from that.

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I am astonished that the gold medallist at UT was able to find a job without difficulty. :-P

 

 

Me, too! But what about the rest of the 50%? ;)

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Why do so many of you seem to think that lawyers are better than other people? A study come out saying that employers in 3 large Canadian cities are 40% less likely to call back applicants with ethnic names and our response here is that it can't be true of lawyers because you know a guy with an ethnic name and he has a job. Is that persuasive?

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The world isn't fair. There are always going to be people that try to find fault in potential candidates because they deviate from the "norm." Bitch, moan, and complain all you want about the injustice. The fact is, even if the system corrects its self, there will be a new element of discrimination.

 

As sad as it might sound, I for one, am glad to be a attractive white male.

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The world isn't fair. There are always going to be people that try to find fault in potential candidates because they deviate from the "norm." Bitch, moan, and complain all you want about the injustice. The fact is, even if the system corrects its self, there will be a new element of discrimination.

 

As sad as it might sound, I for one, am glad to be a attractive white male.

 

At least you didn't say proud.

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