I usually refrain from talking about race in a way that might offend others because I’ve seen the hurtful and insensitive comments these topics can generate. However, I couldn’t help myself today. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the stream of phone calls I receive from candidates concerned about their job prospects. Maybe it’s the idea that the job market seems to be improving for some and not for others. Who knows?
I recently wrote about natural hairstyles and the propensity to lose (or never be considered for) a job interview based upon the bias African Americans continue to encounter when searching for a job.
Interestingly enough, I didn’t consider the fact that White women have the same issue. When discussing the hair topic with a group of White friends, they said they knew what I was talking about because they have been told not to wear a curly hair style to an interview or that shorter hair was better than long.
Who knew? It appears that what to do with your hair when interviewing is an issue for all women, not just minority women.
So, as I was reading this article about a Black woman who posed as a White woman in order to obtain job interviews, I started to wonder, what other factors could exist that caused this phenomena? Was she being ignored solely because of her race? If you read the article, it sure seems that way. And for those of us who have experienced it, it sure feels that way.
This issue and this experiment have been repeated time and time again. Whether it’s a Black sounding name, an address on a resume that is in a predominately Black neighborhood or a Black sounding voice on the phone, it is unfortunate, but not shocking that the outcomes haven’t changed over time. There
is nothing like having a great phone interview with a person, only to witness the surprise on their face when you show up to the interview (pre-LinkedIn).
Whether you agree or disagree about the reasons it occurs, it doesn’t make it any less distasteful for the person experiencing it.