Professors at the University of Toronto and a Stanford Graduate School of Business Ph.D. candidate performed 3 studies about “resume whitening” among those first entering the workforce. They found that 33% of black and Asian interviewees had engaged in the practice and 66% knew someone who had done so. In another study, participants were half as likely to whiten their resumes when job ads included pro-diversity statements. However, the third study revealed that whitened versions of both the black and Asian resumes were more than twice as likely to result in a callback as unwhitened resumes, even though the listed qualifications were identical. Pro-diversity statements may give companies a more diverse applicant pool, but it takes more to make workplaces truly fair and inclusive.
Dr. Sevag Kertechian, a researcher based at Paris-Sorbonne University in the French capital, studied the impact of women's dress on job selection. A CV with the same qualifications used two different pictures of the same woman --one with a a high neck shirt and the other with a low neck shirt. For 200 applications to real sales jobs in France, the CV with a picture of a low neckline received 62 more interview requests. The researcher told the Telegraph, “The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising ….”
Citing that the numbers of public company diversity directors have stagnated at 15%, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White said her agency would propose a rule require additional reporting. “At this rate, the GAO [Government Accountability Office] has estimated that it could take more than 40 years for women’s representation on boards to be on par with men’s,” she said. Although not specifying what information the SEC would require, she praised companies that voluntarily report boards’ gender, race and ethnic diversity.
A new Clayman Institute video (15 min.) about networking features Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Insead Business School. After a brief review about networks enabling you to offer more and have more impact, she talks in more detail about what makes for great strategic networks and actions to take to build one.
The recent appointment of Theresa May to lead Britain highlights the challenge that researchers call "the glass cliff": diverse leaders are more likely to be placed in leadership roles when the risks of failure are the highest. Marianne Cooper of Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research describes this difference in the quality of assignments for which minorities and women are tapped.
Iris Bohnet – behavioral economist, Harvard Kennedy School professor and director of its Women and Public Policy Program – writes about the failure of unstructured hiring interviews to predict actual on-the-job performance. Further, the replicating ourselves phenomenon contributes to the prevalent gender segregation of jobs. She recommends relying on structured interviews that standardize the process among candidates. Also, the protocol should require the interviewer to score each answer immediately, compare the responses horizontally and aggregate the answers before evaluators meet to discuss the applicants.
Professor Stacy Blake-Beard discusses research on how mentoring may create "cultural cloning" because individuals unconsciously have a natural preference for people who are most like them. Her recommendations for practical strategies to disrupt this bias include managers and leaders committing to having at least one diverse mentee, and investing time to build a trusting relationship across differences.