January 27, 2017

Asian job seekers face disadvantage even when they have higher degrees, study finds

Job candidates with Asian names and Canadian qualifications are less likely to be called for interviews than their counterparts with Anglo-Canadian names even when they have a better education, a new study has found.

Using data from a recent large-scale Canadian employment study that examined interview callback rates for resumés with Asian and Anglo names, researchers found Asian-named applicants consistently received fewer calls regardless of the size of the companies involved.

“The disadvantage of an Asian name is less in the large organizations, although it has not disappeared,” said the joint study by the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, titled “Do Large Employers Treat Racial Minorities More Fairly?” It will be released Wednesday at a forum at U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

The challenge, the report said, is that more than 70 per cent of private sector employees in Canada work for companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Jeffrey Reitz, a co-author of the current study and sociology professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs, said the findings call for the adoption of what’s known as an “anonymized resumé review” process — coding candidates without identifying their names — by Canadian employers.

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