I was saddened to read in this tight job market some black applicants are whitening their names and deleting Historically Black Colleges and Universities from their resumes. No one should ever have to deny any part of themselves to be accepted by others. I certainly understand why a job applicant would like to eliminate as many barriers to landing a job as possible. I am not sure, though, changing the name on a resume or removing information from it will be effective. At some point, potential employers will meet applicants for an interview and see who they have shortlisted.
I could not help but think about a study released before Simone was born. The authors found when applicants had comparable experience those who had ethnic names were 50 percent less likely to receive a callback than those who had white-sounding names. I had a sophisticated name as a child and had to grow into it. I kept that in mind as Ken and I chose Simone and Nadia’s names. I did not want to give them a name only for them or someone else to shorten it. I wanted their names to be feminine, and I wanted their names to fit them as children and as adults. We found all of those attributes in the names Simone and Nadia. I hope we have given them names they can be proud of their entire lives, names they will not need to change on their resumes or on any other documents.