The American Journal of Sociology just published a study showing that openly gay male applicants get called back for job interviews 40 percent less often than their straight male counterparts—and it’s even worse in the South and Midwest. Plus, if the job asks for the stereotypically masculine traits of being “assertive,” “aggressive,” or “decisive,” openly gay men’s chances get ever lower. And you thought your resume typeface was the problem.
Pink News reports:
Harvard University researcher Andras Tilcsik sent out two realistic but fictitious resumes to 1,700 white collar job openings. One resume mentioned relevant experience in a university gay society as a treasurer, while the other listed experience in the ‘Progressive and Socialist Alliance’.
Mr Tilcsik said that since employers are likely to associate both groups with left-leaning political views, this would separate any ‘gay penalty’ from the effects of political discrimination.
The results showed that applicants without the gay reference had an 11.5 percent chance of being called for an interview. However, CVs which mentioned the gay society had only a 7.2 percent chance. The difference amounted to a 40 per cent higher chance of the heterosexual applicant getting a call.
Tilcsik said, “The results indicate that gay men encounter significant barriers in the hiring process because, at the initial point of contact, employers more readily disqualify openly gay applicants than equally qualified heterosexual applicants.”
The study a few interesting questions: should job-seeking LGBTs hide their LGBT identity until after they get hired? Is it morally acceptable for LGBT employers to hire only LGBT employees in an attempt to even out the balance? And should LGBT applicants see their pre-emptive rejection as a blessing in disguise for keeping them outside of a homophobic work environment?
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