Job applicants with African-American sounding names are far less likely to get a callback as are similarly qualified "white" candidates, according to researchers at the University of Chicago and MIT, who submitted 5,000 bogus resumes in response to job ads. Half the resumes bore stereotypical African-American names such as Latonya and Tyrone; half sported traditionally Anglo names like Kristin and Brad.
Candidates with Caucasian-sounding names were contacted more frequently than those with a presumed ethnic identity and identical resumes. That is, 10 percent of those with typically white names were called back, compared to just 6.7 percent with black-sounding names. Some names may be especially unpalatable for employers: Tamika was called back 5 percent of the time; Aisha, a scant 2 percent.
Marianne Bertrand, a professor at the University of Chicago, also found that highly qualified "black" candidates had no advantage over their less qualified black peers, but "white" candidates' odds of an interview skyrocketed with increased skills.