Business.com reports that discrimination exists against non-binary people. Non-binary people think there is discrimination. The report found that more than 80% of nonbinary individuals believe that being identified as nonbinary will hinder their job search. 51% also believe that their gender identity “has affected their workplace experience.”
Business.com sent two identical “phantoms” resumes out to “180 unique job openings that were explicitly open for entry-level candidates” to see if “whether or not” the inclusion of gender neutral pronouns affects how employers perceive resumes.
Ryan McGonagill stated in the report that both resumes featured a gender-ambiguous title, Taylor Williams. The only difference was the presence pronouns referring to gender on the test version. “The test resume contained ‘they/them pronouns under their name in the header.”
According to CNBC’s “Make It,” “The phantom resume with pronouns received 88% less interest than that without and had fewer invitations for interview and phone screenings,”
8 percent is a small difference, especially in a small sample. Business.com wanted the desired result, so the “test” was weighted.
We have more work ahead of us on many fronts. Many companies have prioritized DEIB efforts over the last 10 years. However, past research and this study show that many industries don’t represent the U.S. population in a proportionate way,” McGonagill told CNBC Make It (emphasis on added). “And worse, many people feel lost and disenfranchised (like the nonbinary respondents to our research).
What happened to the “B” in DEI? What does “belonging”, in the context of running a business, have to do? Since when was it that non-binary individuals had to be “proportionately” represented in a workplace?
Although it should not be part the hiring process box-checking is an acceptable practice. It is extremely difficult to check the non-binary boxes when less than 2 percent of the population identify as such. It is absurd to think that an office cannot be “proportionally” represented without a nonbinary employee.
I am aware that I am out of touch. If I ran a non-profit in today’s world, as I did in the 1980s or ’90s I would probably be fired. However, “Belonging” is something that was left to each employee and not a management project. Teamwork and camaraderie are sure to make the office a more enjoyable place to work eight hours a day and increase productivity. What happened to “being part of” the company’s responsibility?
McGee encourages nonbinary people to share their stories about how they feel insecure and rejected at work.
Reach out to your DEIB leader if you have one. They have the responsibility to avoid bias and understand it in the workplace. McGee suggests that you speak to someone you trust if you are working for a small company that does not have this function. What have you seen? What has been said to make it seem like you are being treated differently? You deserve to be heard, and you don’t deserve to be ignored.
I don’t think I would care if the applicant was they, them or he, she or it. In deciding whether to call back a prospect, qualifications trumped all other considerations. Personal interview performance was more important than any pronoun usage.
Nearly every day I thank God that I have no longer been required to work in an office.