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Will Your Name Prevent You From Getting the Job?

By Latasha Walters
On October 20, 2015

Over the past few weeks there has been an uproar on social media about a comment actress Raven-Symone made on “The View.”

There was a discussion amongst the women about a viral video that listed the “60 most ghetto names.” In the discussion Raven expressed that as a black woman in America she would in fact discriminate against those who have ethnic sounding names in the workplace.

This comment made me think, “In 2015 do employers still judge their candidates based of off their name?”

As humans we can’t choose our names unless we pay to have them changed later on in life. Most people choose to respect their parents and keep the name that was given to them when they were born.

How can we judged based of off something we have no control over?

A third-year criminal justice student, Imani Lewis from Tampa, Fla., revealed that she thinks employers discriminate against her all the time.

“It’s hard to find a good job sometimes for me and I think in part it has to do with my name.”

Although names have definitions a name should not define anyone.

In 2009, a group of undercover government researchers sent about 3,000 job applications under false identities to see if employers would discriminate against certain names.

They found out that the candidates who appeared to be white on average would get a follow-up interview or phone call after nine applications. The applicants whose names sounded foreign or ethic had to send an average of 16 applications before they got a call back.

This shows that employers have preconceived notions about those with ethnic names. “Black sounding” names are usually associated with low class or ghetto to those who choose not to understand that a name is just a name.

When will we be able to name our children without worrying about whether they will be discriminated against in the future?

Will there ever be a change?

Florida Nursing School student, Katia Eugene from Miramar, Fla. explains that she loves her name and wouldn’t change it for anything.

“I love my name. My mother gave it to me and if people judge me by it then they are obviously not meant to be in my life,” Eugene said. “For every one person that judges there will be one who doesn’t.”


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