One might think that racial discrimination in the workplace has improved over the last 25 years, but research shows this is not the case. African American and Latino job seekers in New York face significant challenges just trying to score an interview. Then they are blamed for lack of effort.
According to a meta-study conducted by several top universities, African American job seekers were 36 percent less likely to be called back by employers compared to their Caucasian counterparts. Latinos were 24 percent less likely. The study controlled for important variables like education level, gender, job market and occupation. The results show that discrimination has not decreased at the point of hire as most people assume.
The statistics demonstrate that race still has a tremendous impact on an employer’s willingness to hire and adversely affects not only a person’s ability to get a job but also the kind of job and pay they may receive. Fewer callbacks mean that people have comparatively fewer choices to consider and may end up with a less desirable position than they could otherwise get. It also means that when they do finally land an interview, they have less leverage and negotiating power and will likely end up with a lower salary because of it. In this way, discrimination extends beyond just obtaining a position and influences salary as well.
It can be extremely difficult to determine race discrimination in hiring. Companies may give a variety of reasons for not calling back that are not based on race. This leaves job seekers to look for evidence pointing to racial bias. This is a difficult and uphill battle for job applicants, but they may want to seek legal assistance if they suspect hiring discrimination.