Age and Race – our expert explains how Black Americans are facing a one-two punch of discrimination in the workplaceMay 17, 20212 min read
As America tries to come to grips with and find lasting solutions to issues of systemic racism, new research shows staggering hiring trends that negatively impact Black Americans when they enter the workplace and as they near retirement age.
Sociologist and UConn expert Dr. Matthew Hughey discussed the findings with the Washington Post:
"A new experiment at Texas A&M University helps illustrate the surprising pattern, which has not been widely studied but tends to line up with Labor Department data reviewed by The Washington Post: Black workers are typically less likely to be hired than White workers with the same experience, but the gap closes in middle age.
When he saw the chart above, University of Connecticut sociologist Matthew Hughey was struck by the steadiness of the trend for Whites, compared to the volatile swoop of the line representing Black workers. It shows hiring managers tend to accept White applicants at face value while subconsciously scrutinizing Black ones, he said.
“Black people have always been more objectified, scrutinized and surveilled than White people,” Hughey said. “Every little thing is nitpicked on a résumé or explained as a possible red flag.”
The larger pattern is common in government data, but the chart comes from a new analysis in the Journal of Policy and Management from Texas A&M economist Joanna Lahey, a widely cited authority on discrimination in the labor market. Lahey noticed the counterintuitive pattern of age discrimination against Black workers when she and her collaborator, Douglas Oxley, asked about 150 business and MBA students to evaluate about 40 résumés each. About a quarter of the students had previously screened résumés in the real world, and 11 percent had experience in human resources." May 14, 2021 - Washington Post
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Professor Matthew Hughey is a scholar of racism and racial inequality in identity formation, organizations, media, politics, science, religion, and public advocacy. If you are looking to book an interview, simply click on Dr. Hughey’s icon today.
Matthew Hughey, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology
A scholar of racism and racial inequality in identity formation, organizations, media, politics, science, religion, and public advocacy.