Tag Archives: workplace

What’s in a Name? Your Job!

by Guest Contributor Sobia, originally published at Muslim Lookout

CTV News recently reported on a BC based study in which it was found that Canadians with English names have a better chance of getting a job than do people with non-English, specifically Chinese, Pakistani, or Indian, names. CTV News reports

In fact, after sending out thousands of resumés, the study found those with an English name like Jill Wilson and John Martin received 40 per cent more interview callbacks than the identical resumés with names like Sana Khan or Lei Li.

“If employers are engaging in name-based discrimination, they may be contravening the Human Rights Act,” said the study’s author, Philip Oreopoulos, economics professor at the University of B.C. “They may also be missing out on hiring the best person for the job.”

The study also found that the only way the applicants could improve their chances of a callback was to state they had Canadian or British experience.

And before one thinks this may have something to do with acculturation or language issues some new immigrants may have, the study’s author suspects that even second and third generation immigrants are at a “significant disadvantage” if they have a Chinese, Indian or Pakistani name (great – I guess my Pakistani name is going to be trouble for me after all). However, not as much as their parents or grandparents may be. I guess, it’s all in the name. Continue reading

Racialicious Responds to the Firefighter Reverse Discrimination Case

A Racialicious Roundtable, compiled by Latoya Peterson and Thea Lim


On April 22, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Ricci, et. Al, v. DeStefano, et al., a case brought by seventeen firefighters who claim that they were discriminated against by the City of New Haven after the City decided to throw out the results of a required advancement exam. The New York Times story notes:

Mr. Ricci did well, he said, coming in sixth among the 77 candidates who took the exam. But the city threw out the test, because none of the 19 African-American firefighters who took it qualified for promotion. That decision prompted Mr. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, to sue the city, alleging racial discrimination. [...]

The city says it was merely trying to comply with a federal law that views job requirements like promotional tests with great suspicion when they disproportionately disfavor minority applicants.

“The fact of the matter is it’s a flawed test,” said Victor A. Bolden, the city’s acting corporation counsel.

Mr. Bolden added that he had sympathy for Mr. Ricci. “There’s no question that there are people who are disappointed,” he said. “But disappointment doesn’t lead to a discrimination claim.”

The promotion exam was offered in the fall of 2003, and no one has been promoted since, Mr. Bolden said.

The suit brought by Mr. Ricci and his colleagues says that the city’s rationale for throwing out the test is illegitimate and that they were denied a chance for promotion on account of the color of their skin.

Since this made the Court’s docket, it officially became a matter of serious weight. I called together some of the other correspondents and we had a chat about what this case means, what it could mean for industries that seem to just stay segregated, and the unanswered questions we still have after examining the available briefs and news articles. – LDP

Continue reading

Is This Racist… Against Whites?

by Racialicious guest contributor Jennifer Fang, originally published at Reappropriate

Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown is causing a stir. A constituent of his saw this diversity video and thought it was racist – against Whites — and Councilman Brown agrees.

(The full video is 8 minutes long and available for download here)

Brown thinks that the video attacks blue-collar workers in Denver, because it “implies that it is only White, blue-collar workers who commit these kinds of statements”.

On a segment aired on CNN during Primetime with Erica Hill (linked above), Councilman Brown and Stephen Viscusi, a radio host of a show called “On the Job” discuss the video. Both Brown and Viscusi argue that the segment perpetuates an antiquated interpretation of racism by not showing joksters of different colours and creeds. However, Brown further argues that even showing the kinds of jokes highlighted in this video is embarassing and anachronistic, and that nobody even talks like that anymore — which is so out-of-touch with reality that it’s hard to imagine that this guy ever got elected to anything.

The message seems to be from the discussion that diversity training will embarass Whites unless they see that minorities can be racist, too.

I’m sorry, but I call bullshit. While it’s true that the video is kind of kitschy, it shows one White person — in an office where the only person of colour is the Black narrator whom no one else can see — making offensive jokes while the other White co-workers look on disapprovingly. So to argue that the video sends the message that all White blue-collar workers are racist is, I think, not looking at the video in its entirety.

Second, I’m strongly against the idea that racist jokes perpetuated by Whites against people of colour (or other minorities) is the same — and should be treated the same — as jokes spoken by a person of colour against someone else. They are all racist (and probably un-funny) and should not be tolerated, but let’s not forget the whole concept of oppression and power.

But, hey, this is a post dashed off in ten minutes, so my thoughts might still not be fully formed (or at least not well articulated). What do you all think?