Sure, the world has gotten a lot better at tackling the issue of discrimination since a century ago. However, those that have never been oppressed may be unaware that this is still a problem in our world today. A while ago, I posted two articles on the forum explaining the idea behind the “Blind Recruitment” Policy, a process where names are removed from applications in order to minimize the chance of bias. This was one of the few times I really thought about how names affect what a person may think of you. The first article explained the idea of the policy, and emphasized the positive affects it could have on people. The second article shared stories from people that were discriminated against.
After reading the two articles, several questions were left buzzing around my brain.
- Will this policy be able to lower the rate of racial and cultural bias in application processes?
- What will different workplaces look like if this policy is enforced? Will there be more diversity?
- What percentage of people are for or against this policy?
When I came back to my post on the forum, Julia Nick had left a comment raising an interesting point. She stated, “One problem is, bias could still be present when potential employees go in for a job interview. Interviews are a good way to see how people are on the spot, and how they interact with other people…” This idea sparked several more questions in my mind, as I began to wonder about what would happen after the application processes had finished.
- How do we prevent biased judgements during an interview when both the employer and applicant are meeting face to face?
- If the policy doesn’t work, what can we do to eliminate bias during application processes?
- If the policy does pass, will it succeed in encouraging people to actively approach the issue? Or will people continue to dismiss it as a problem of the past?
- How do we encourage people to change their views? Will there be a way to ensure that people are treated equally?
I believe that this article was significant because it suggests a solution for minimizing discrimination, provides evidence to back up its ideas, and raises several points that show why this continues to be an issue today. People can have bias towards others both consciously and unintentionally. People need to start finding ways to prevent this from happening, and this article gives a helpful suggestion. It explains that this policy has already been passed in Britain and has been successful so far. This means that it has the potential to work in Canada, America, or anywhere else that thinks it could be useful. Although Julia is right about this merely being an application process, it brings attention to the idea that if we find a problem in any process, we should do something about it.
This article was able to back up its points by providing real examples of both why the policy is important, and what kind of positive effects the policy can have. For instance, it explained about how the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has become more culturally diverse than ever before since it began having blind auditions in the 1980s. They would judge the entire audition by the sound of the music, opposed to the appearance of the applicant. There was more focus on skill opposed to race and gender, which allowed the orchestra to grow to its fullest potential to produce amazing music with musicians that aren’t simply “white men”.
The article also had a link to the article called “Shopping While Black” which provided evidence of racism at marketplaces. It explained the results of a test done in Shoppers Drug Mart, Best Buy, and other stores. The test stated that “All three wore similar clothing, carried almost identical bags and followed specific instructions: they all acted in the same manner and visited the same aisles…” which goes to show how different people are treated in different ways while in the same situations.
I believe that the information in this article is valid because it is backed up with specific quotes and results from studies. For example, they did a study in 2011 focusing on how names can affect callback rates for job applications: ‘“Why do some employers prefer to interview Matthew but not Samir,” found employers in Canada’s most-diverse cities were 35 per cent more likely to call a job applicant with a white-sounding name over a Chinese- or Indian-sounding one.’
Evidence of this issue can be found in many different places in our lives, we just have to open our eyes and pay attention to it. Whether it is on social media or in real life, it is important to stand up against discrimination.
Continuity and change:
I stated above that bias can be both intentional and unintentional. It is one thing to be aware of how you are seeing others, but it is another thing to automatically make judgements about others that negatively impact how you treat them. I once heard this quote that said, “The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging there is one.” We must first acknowledge the fact that we make natural assumptions about other people, and then we must focus on preventing those opinions from clouding our vision of this person as anything other than another human being.
Back about a century ago, we were at a much worse state than we are today. Luckily, people have recognized that equality is important and that we must treat every culture and race with the same level of respect as we do our own. I think that one of the causes for bias is the environment we grow up in, or the people we are surrounded by. Personally, I know that a lot of what I know is influenced by people that I am surrounded by and look up to. We must make sure that the generations to come have a strong sense of equality and kindness towards all races. We can also do our best to convince the people around right now that fair treatment is important, no matter what the colour of your skin may be.
Perspectives are always going to be a huge part of how the world runs. If someone believes that they deserve to be valued above everyone else, the happiness of the people will be out of balance and in general, it wouldn’t be fair. We may not be able to completely change other people’s perspectives; however, we can always influence them. In the past, the colour of your skin determined how much control you had, and how you were treated. Nowadays, we have learned that there are way we can encourage equality. One of these ways is to pass the “Blind Recruitment” Policy. Other ways may include creating laws to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, or showing support over social media.
Overall, I believe that the “Blind Recruitment” Policy will be beneficial for application processes. It will help employers focus on skill and ability, rather than culture or race. In my opinion, this is the right thing to consider, instead of judging people by stereotypes or bias. Having this policy in Britain has helped people focus on what really matters. I think if this policy were to be passed in Canada, there would be more equality, and it would provide those who were previously oppressed with more opportunities. I also believe that passing this policy will bring the issue to the attention of those who have turned a blind eye towards discrimination.