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Is it racism or something else?

April 25 2003 - Are you looking for a white-collar technical job on the web? If so, you should make sure your name sounds Japanese, Jewish or "white." That will increase the likelihood of an interview by a factor of seven to eight times compared to your chances if your name sounds African-American, Greek, Hispanic or Italian, according to a recent CNW survey.

And if you are searching for a white-collar position at a Fortune 500 company a Japanese, Jewish or Irish surname is three times as effective in landing an interview as a surname which sound African-American, Italian, Greek or Hispanic.

But favoritism also works in other ways. People with African-American or Irish sounding names seeking work at one of the top 25 Black Enterprise companies are more likely to get an interview call than Greek, Hispanic or Jewish applicants. Want to apply for one of the top 25 Hispanic businesses in the U.S.? Hispanic, Irish and Italians are more likely to land an interview than others.

A similar pattern was observed when job searches were for blue-collar positions.

What about newspapers looking for entry level reporters? It's best to be Jewish, Irish or African-American. Your odds are two to three times better of getting an interview than if your name is "white" and 10 times better than if it's Greek.

"While there is likely some racism involved, a large component may be one of association," says Art Spinella, CNW President. "NASCAR drivers typically don't hang out with kayakers and NBA players aren't seen clubbing with Little People. Is it racism or a comfort level with people presumed to have similar job and social experiences?"

The survey was conducted between October 2002 and January 2003. 8,500 applications and/or resumes were sent to more than 150 companies.

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