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LinkedIn Research Shows Nearly 50% Of Black Professionals Have Faced Discrimination At Work

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New research from LinkedIn shows nearly half of Black professionals have faced discrimination in the workplace. Many are thinking of leaving their job because they say there is a lack of advancement or growth opportunities at work.

Shinique Wright believes her name may have kept her from getting job offers. When the family therapist put out a resume using the nickname "Charlie" she received more call backs than when she used her first name.

"It seems like it's a little bit difficult for people to either remember my name or pronounce it correctly or remember to pronounce it correctly. And so, they would often ask for, 'Well, what's your middle name? What's your - do you have a nickname?' which definitely makes me feel ashamed of my name at times," Wright said.

In a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, job applicants with ethnic-sounding names were 50% less likely to receive a call back than those with white-sounding names.

LinkedIn Career Expert Andrew McCaskill said, "The unfortunate fact is that a lot of professionals are starting to say, feel like that they have to 'whiten' their resume or remove racial descriptors from their resumes."

LinkedIn found 25% of Black professionals feel they would face retaliation for speaking out about race and inclusion at work.

"Black professionals overwhelmingly responded that things that were barriers to their advancement were: not having access to mentorship and sponsorship, not feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace, and finally, just feeling like that there was no path for them for advancement," McCaskill said.

Zachary Nunn, founder of Living Corporate, said he had to compete harder than White colleagues for the same promotion.

"If you're not letting Black and Brown folks make actual decisions that can impact systemic change, you're not doing anything," he said.

Research from 2019 found Black Americans only made up 3.2% of senior leadership roles at large companies even though 81% of those surveyed said seeing Black professionals in leadership makes the workplace feel more inclusive.

A 2016 study published in Administrative Science Quarterly found job applicants that masked ethnicity on resumes were more likely to get an interview.

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