Careers

Is Your Last Name Affecting Your Job Search?

 

What’s in a name? Apparently, if you’re job hunting, it can mean everything.

Implicit Biases

As a nation and as individuals, implicit biases inform every aspect of daily life, from which neighborhoods we’re willing to visit to our job hiring practices. A good job correlates directly to improved living conditions, happiness, health, and a plethora of other positive incentives. However, as a minority, obtaining a quality job in a country rooted in predominantly white history and culture can be tough. Even people who are white-identifying, but have an ethnic-sounding surname, face this problem: they receive less callbacks and less offers for interviews, despite their resumes clearly indicating they’re qualified for the job. Why?

Otherness and Race

This phenomenon has been studied extensively in academia, whereby surnames that fall outside of an established norm (i.e. a culture of whiteness) inevitably elicit a knee-jerk response of distrust and “otherness.” A study conducted in 2003, “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, evidences this point.

In this study, fictitious resumes were sent out in response to wanted ads in Boston and Chicago. Each resume was rife with references, relevant experience, and deftness of form—the only difference was the name attached to each. Resumes had either stereotypical white-sounding names or stereotypical African-American names. The results were staggering.

For white-sounding names, callbacks for interviews occurred at a rate 50% greater than African-American names. And that wasn’t all: even when African-American names were attached to glowing resumes, they still received incredibly low levels of interest. White-sounding names attached to similarly stellar resumes received a 30% increase in callbacks. The conclusion? The amount of discrimination is uniform across all occupations and industries, and when an applicant has a white-sounding name, it is the equivalent of having eight more years of experience.

Unfortunately, phenomena haven’t changed since 2003. In 2014, another study was conducted that substantiated the findings of the 2003 study—proving that employers, in their hiring practices, are inferring something apart from race in a potential employee’s name.

In fact, it seems employers are making several assumptions based on preconceived notions about the cultures attached to ethnic-sounding surnames. When a white-sounding name is held as the golden standard, anything that falls outside of that realm finds itself faced with accusations of being unreliable, a less productive worker, or incompetent (i.e. an untrustworthy, “othered” individual). Certain ethnic names might carry with them the weight of assumed criminal responsibility, too, and be subject to excessive background checks or even more scrupulous Google searches for social media accounts.

Names Do Matter

In a culture like this, names are everything. Employers want the best candidate possible, and in that search, it is difficult, if not impossible, to detangle oneself from the web of preconceived notions and implicit biases that inform our culture of whiteness. As such, white-sounding names, names that are “easier to pronounce,” “more familiar,” and, most importantly, “non-other,”  unfortunately, take precedence, and equally talented minorities struggle to find a job they are more than qualified for.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Advertisements

Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Qualified Nurse?

Black Female Nurse

(Photo Credit: Black Enterprise)

The need for qualified nurses in Australia has been steadily on the rise. As a result, many young men and women in Australia are being encouraged to consider a career in the nursing/medical industries. Could you be considered a good candidate to embark on the fulfilling and stimulating world of nursing?

Nursing can be a tremendously rewarding career for many different people, but it is not for everyone. Becoming a great nurse requires more than just not getting squeamish at the sight of blood. Read on to see what to consider before you decide that a nursing career is right for you.

Should you consider a career in nursing?

The first and most important thing anyone considering being a nurse should possess is an outgoing personality. The majority of a nurse’s time is spent interacting with the patients, so if you don’t consider yourself a people’s person then nursing will likely prove to be a quite trying career choice for you.

Nursing is also a physically demanding job that requires a high level of energy. Most nursing shifts are 10-12 hours in length and are primarily spent on your feet. If you have back or leg problems, or if you are just not an energetic person, then nursing may not be the best career option for you.

Nursing is not only physically demanding but can also be really emotionally demanding. Being a nurse involves (among numerous other things) comforting patients and their families during some of the hardest times of their lives, which can certainly take an emotional toll. A good nurse needs to have the ability to leave the job behind when he or she finishes for the day. What happens on the nursing floor stays on the nursing floor.

Another personality trait that you may want to have (or acquire) is the ability to allow less than appealing situations to roll off of your back. Remember you will be dealing with all manner of patient issues—most of which are either painful or unusually uncomfortable.  In other words, you’re often dealing with people who aren’t in the best of moods. Therefore, you shouldn’t be easy to offend and cannot take things personally.

Becoming a Qualified Nurse

To be a qualified nurse, you will need to attend a nationally-accredited nursing program. There are some great options for nursing courses in Melbourne. The majority of these initial nursing courses can be completed in 18 months, and these courses will place you on a wonderful path to becoming a certified nurse.

Earning your degree in nursing will open the door to a myriad of exciting and deeply fulfilling opportunities in the healthcare industry. A degree in nursing will enable you to work in not only a hospital setting but also in nursing homes, sports and rehabilitation clinics and even mental health facilities.

Any well-established nursing school will have the means to give you a sneak peek at the variety of nursing career options available. A good nursing course should offer a wide array of hands-on labs as well as solid clinical experience through placement rotations. Such opportunities will give you a firsthand look at the various areas of practice that coincide with your medical qualifications, which will help you to choose a setting that you can thrive in as a qualified nurse.

Best of luck in your new nursing career!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Working Moms: Want to Get an MBA? What to Expect & How to Cope

MBA

(Photo Credit: News One)

About 1 million Americans are enrolled in an MBA program, but only around 156,000 graduate with an MBA each year, according to the Digest of Education Statistics.  Professional working moms run into numerous scheduling obstacles when pursuing an MBA, so it’s important to know what to expect and how to create a plan for dealing with the increased demands on your time.

Reasons to Make Time

Students graduating with an MBA from the McCombs School of Business in Texas earn an average of $110,251 a year plus bonuses, the school’s site reports.  Unless you have an arrangement with your employer, an MBA doesn’t automatically come with a pay raise.  A Journal of Education for Business study found that pay for MBA grads increased by 56% within five years of graduation.

MBA vs. Master’s

Unlike traditional master’s programs, MBA programs use rolling enrollment.  You travel through the program with the same group of students, enabling you to develop strong working relationships that come in handy for study groups and projects.  MBA classes concentrate on real-word case studies and hands-on application in addition to traditional studies.  The availability of different types of MBA programs allows you to select from online learning, hybrid courses, weekend classes or part-time studies.

Specific MBA Program Examples

Virginia Tech offers four MBA programs, including full-time, professional, executive and weekend courses.  The executive program runs for 18 months and includes alternating weekend classes in Arlington, Virginia.  Designed for individuals who are already in a company leadership role, the classes require two Fridays and two Saturdays a month in addition to a considerable amount of individual and group work.  The design of the courses minimize time away from the office.

Alliant University’s San Diego MBA program offers students the chance to reduce the number of classes required for a degree if they already have a bachelor’s degree in Business.  The school also provides online learning opportunities and evening classes to accommodate a professional’s work schedule.  You can find other examples of flexible degree programs throughout the country.

Expected Workload

Although you can customize your MBA experience to meet some scheduling needs, no option is likely to be light on workload.  The Chicago Tribune reports that most successful part-time MBA students commit a total of 15 hours each week to class attendance, study, and homework.  MBA students are expected to participate in group projects, write several lengthy papers, conduct research, create business case studies and make presentations.

Balancing Life, Work & Education

It’s not impossible to carve out time for an MBA, but make sure you understand the sacrifice in doing so.  Have a sincere talk with your partner and family about the increased demands on their time, as well as a spelled-out understanding with your employer.  If everybody’s on board and you find the program that best suits your life, go for it.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison