Study Confirms That Bias Against African American Job Seekers Is Still Prevalent
Unsurprisingly, hiring discrimination is still very real.
September 14, 2017 at 12:51 am
The “is my name too black?” struggle is a common one for African Americans on the job hunt, as hiring discrimination has plagued the black community — and, really, all people of color— for a while.
Northwestern University recently analyzed hiring discrimination trends affecting African Americans and Latinos from 1990 to 2015.
Over those 25 years, you might think that things have gotten better for black job seekers. Sadly, you might think wrong. There's been no change in discrimination trends in regards to African Americans. We still have a big issue, here.
“It is often suggested that prejudice and discrimination are fading out over time through a gradual process of liberalization of attitudes,” noted Lincoln Quillian, senior author of the study and professor of sociology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. “But we found striking stability in discrimination against African- Americans.”
As far as Latinos are concerned, there was some evidence of a discrimination decline. However, but the number of field experiments including Latinos was too small to conclude for certain.
Quillan expressed both confusion and disappointment over his team's findings.
“During this time, the country saw some favorable racial trends, like declining black-white test score gaps, slow declines in racial residential segregation and the election of the country’s first black president,” said Quillian. “But whites received on average 36 percent more callbacks to interview than African Americans with equal job qualifications, and we found no evidence that this level of discrimination had changed.”
Though explicit prejudices have declined, there’s still subtle racial biases that hide underneath the surface.
“Our results are consistent with the idea that the subtler racial biases are important for hiring discrimination,” said Quillian. “The results suggest we need to realize direct discrimination on the basis of race in hiring still exists and is something that the country needs to confront.”
Quillian’s team hopes that their research results will assist in pushing forward anti-discrimination laws and further support for affirmative action. In the future, the authors plan to write analyses comparing hiring discrimination rates between the U.S. and Europe.