SILICON VALLEY BANK considers removing names from résumés to prevent (anti-Muslim?) bias against job candidates

Silicon Valley Bank, a bank that offers a range of financial services tailored towards technology and life science businesses, is considering whether to remove names from job candidates’ résumés in a bid to prevent  gender/religious bias from its recruiters.

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Business Insider  The bank has already undergone unconscious bias training globally, which involves exercises including splitting into groups and assessing the merits of four different résumés, only to return to find they belonged to the same candidate — just with different names and genders attached.

It’s those sort of exercises that has got the bank thinking about what it can do to prevent unconscious bias, according to Tracy Isacke, Silicon Valley Bank’s corporate relationship management team managing director. Using artificial intelligence [AI] to screen candidates could also help prevent unconscious bias, according to Isacke.

(Unlike gender bias, anti-Muslim bias comes from the unusually high number of the lawsuits against employers that Muslims file claiming ‘religious’ discrimination for refusing to accommodate excessive Muslim religious demands. So a common Muslim name like Mohammed would be a sure-fire job killer)

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Isacke says there have also been discussions about setting diversity targets, but while on one hand, “what you don’t measure doesn’t happen,” targets can also lead to backlash around whether companies lowered the bar and turned down the better candidate in order to meet set quotas.

HUFFPOST  Recent college grads, take note: Mentioning a campus religion group on your resume — particularly a Muslim club — may lead to significantly fewer job opportunities.

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Two new sociology studies find new graduates who included an Islamic religious mention on a resume were much less likely to hear back from potential employers.

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The studies used fictitious resumes — with bland names that signaled no particular race or ethnicity. These were sent to employers who posted on the CareerBuilder website to fill entry-level job openings in sales, information technology and other fields suitable for first jobs out of college.

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The researchers tested seven religious categories including: Roman Catholic, evangelical Christian, atheist, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, and one faith they just made up, “Wallonian,” to see what would happen compared to people who made no faith reference.

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Fewer employers called back the “Wallonians,” as well as the others, reacting to “a fear of the unknown,” said University of Connecticut sociology professor Michael Wallace who led the studies.

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Muslims faced the sharpest discrimination with 38 percent fewer emails and 54 percent fewer phone calls to the voice mailboxes set up by the researchers.

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In New England, 6,400 applications were sent to 1,600 job postings by employers. But applications mentioning any religious tie were 24 percent less likely to get a phone call, according to the study published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.

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Again, Muslims bore the brunt of discrimination, receiving 32 percent fewer emails and 48 percent fewer phone calls. Catholics were 29 percent less likely to get a call and pagans were 27 percent less likely — slightly better than the “Wallonian” applicants.

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While the study focused on entry-level jobs for new grads, Wallace said, “the bottom line message is that it is harmful to put it on your resume and this would relate to anybody at any point in their career.

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