Discrimination Against Ethnic/Minority Names

  1. 6
    No matter how many self-righteous managers and nurses might deny it, there is still plenty of discrimination against job hunters with ethnic names. All you have to do is Google to find plenty of articles, stats, and studies showing that people with minority names must complete 2-3 times more job applications in order to receive the same number of job interview offers as their Anglo-Saxon sounding counterparts.

    For those of you lucky enough to go by an Anglicized nickname, here's something interesting from a manager/HR blog: you are NOT obligated to apply for jobs with your legal name. If you've been going by another nickname for ages, then for goodness's sake, apply with that name! Resumes, cover letters, and even digital applications are not legal documents. When HR is interested enough to need a background check and social security number, that's when you give them your legal name.

    But of course, not everyone has been lucky enough to go by Jennifer or Lauren or Rachel. So is there no other advice for them except to keep their chin up and keep applying? In a job market where even "white-named" job hunters are having no luck with 100+ job applications, that is surely disheartening.
    smartnurse1982, Joe V, TheCommuter, and 3 others like this.
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 7,330 Views
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 44 Comments so far...

  5. 5
    I think you're reading into it too much. I don't think managers care what your name is after they see your qualifications on your resume. I don't think managers say "Hey! Chang sounds like a Chinese name I'm going to throw this resume out!". Unless of course they're racists but those people are in the minority these days.
    KelRN215, VivaLasViejas, chaka_1709, and 2 others like this.
  6. 5
    Quote from Novo
    I think you're reading into it too much. I don't think managers care what your name is after they see your qualifications on your resume. I don't think managers say "Hey! Chang sounds like a Chinese name I'm going to throw this resume out!". Unless of course they're racists but those people are in the minority these days.
    I don't believe anyone would deliberately or blatantly discriminate that way (by tossing a resume strictly based on the name). But in the face of many, many applicants per job, they might narrow the list down per requirements to a smaller pool of candidates. Then they might "go with their gut" and offer interviews first to the people who "feel right" without consciously knowing why they feel like better applicants.

    Very few people consciously discriminate, especially in the HR department. But when the data is added up, it shows discrimination. So even if no one is doing it deliberately, it's still happening.

    http://news.efinancialcareers.com/69...s-study-finds/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009...ent-undercover

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...article555082/
    Last edit by biomimetical on Sep 6, '12 : Reason: Edited to add links.
    pyriticsilence, lisaemt, merlee, and 2 others like this.
  7. 0
    Thats an interesting point you bring up, one ive never thought of before. Theres more to be found under " [ethnic] name discrimination" if anyone is interested in googling for more ( I did. ). Im taking a Healthcare Diversity class for my BSN and this seems like a good subject to bring up to see others opinions.

    Thanks for the info.

    *Also, my advice is to yes, to keep applying. I have an ethnic name, but in a job market where 90% of RNs are caucasian (this number may have fluctuated a bit, as it was written 4 years ago) Citation: Maier-Lorentz, M. M. (2008). Transcultural Nursing: Its importance in nursing practice. Journal of Cultural Diversity. (15)1, 37-43

    I personally, find myself to be more noticable than not. Good luck to you.
  8. 3
    The racists are in the minority these days!!! Love the pun, intended or not.I have worked in many places where the WHITE person was in the minority.I do most of the hiring at my facility. The first thing I look at is years of experience in long term care. Then I check out how many places the person worked. Honestly, I don't even glance at the name until I decide to call them in foran interview.
    VickyRN, Crux1024, and Romans 8:28 like this.
  9. 10
    Unfortunately this is very true! If you are not a minority, you may not understand. I am from the south and have witnessed applications being thrown in the trash can of people with ethnic names specifically African American names. They may not throw out one that says "Chang" but they will certainly throw out a "LaQuisha" or "Martavion". Lets face it folks, predjudice and racism still exist and in some places its on the rise. It is sad but its true. I have found that in my area, I have to really be on top of my game and work extra hard because of my race in order to get positions that my white counterparts are applying for.
  10. 9
    I feel this probably exists and it's terrible. Unfortunately it probably works both ways though. I remember when I graduated high school and was searching for scholarships, most of the ones I found required the recipient be a certain race, and it was never white.

    Racism sucks.
    Bottomed out, lisaemt, Crux1024, and 6 others like this.
  11. 1
    My ethnicity is WASP - but I agree with the OP. In fact, it is such an "open secret" that I know of three people in my grad school classes who anglicized their first names for professional reasons. One of my current colleagues (African American) legally changed her first name when she was pursuing her doctorate in public health after being advised to do so by an influential professor.

    I do know that having an unusual or weird first name is a real disadvantage in some professions because it detracts from the gravitas that they need to project. Can you imagine a Supreme Court Justice named Moonbeam or Apple?

    I have no solution - wish I did.
    Crux1024 likes this.
  12. 3
    Quote from eatmysoxRN
    I feel this probably exists and it's terrible. Unfortunately it probably works both ways though. I remember when I graduated high school and was searching for scholarships, most of the ones I found required the recipient be a certain race, and it was never white.

    Racism sucks.
    I completely agree. When I was in nursing school, the only scholarships being offered were specifically for African American females.
    And I don't think the discrimination against minorities occurs as much as people imply. Just because there are more non-minority health care workers, it does not mean that minority applications are being thrown out. Could it be that possibly out of the applicants, the non-minorities really WERE the more qualified ones?
    And what about the quotas for employers and schools to accept and hire minorities? They actually get fined it they don't meet them. I'm sorry, but I feel your race/name have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with your qualifications, or eligibility for extra aid or funds. If you are poor, you are poor. If you are smart and qualified, then you deserve positions that less qualified/smart people shouldn't get. As simple as that. I think that, like a previous poster has mentioned, name should only be looked at when it comes to background checks and the like. One of my biggest pet peeves when I fill out a work application is being asked what my "race" is.
  13. 0
    As much as I hate to admit that this is true in 2012, I agree with the OP. I am curious about using a different name to apply for a job though. Whenever I've applied, I have to give my license info and that comes under your real name. How do you get around that?


Top