Linette Singleton (@NPDIVUS) and I (@MarkADyson) tackle the very complex subject of the risk of changing your name to draw less attention to race, culture, and gender. Has your ethnic specific name affected your career or career choices? Do you use a generic name to avoid bias or questions about your culture?
We realize name bias or name discrimination is not an easy subject to tackle, and makes some people uncomfortable to discuss, but I feel is necessary. In this discussion, we talk about it as it relates to race and culture bias.
Both of us would love to talk more about it because of how much of this discussion is diverted to several different factors:
- Bias in this instance is hard to point to specifically as “here it is” or “there it goes.” We wanted to start a conversation that is needed to move to a more diverse and inclusive society and workplace
- We do not discuss how name bias affects gender and societal conscious people. As people are changing, transforming, and evolving, so will this discussion and how it affects people in various communities
- One thing that stands out in this discussion is how it affects race, and what is in the future. Although we agree it comes down to a job seeker’s presentation, resume, and other determining factors to get in front of a hiring manager, we do not ignore that in many circumstances determines who goes to the next round.
Linette and I highlight the following points in our discussion:
- Name and address could potentially mean bias
- Not always limited to race
- Celebrities change all of the time, but the spirit of the change is vastly different for artists than regular working folks.
- There are instances that as a coach, I have witnessed that interview requests become more frequent once a client alters his or her name to a generic one.