Researchers from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, analyzed the employment frequency of applicants with “non-standard” accents.
Defining an unusual accent as different from a known and generally accepted way of speaking, the team analyzed the results of 27 studies on discrimination against accents and found that women were the most discriminated against national minorities. On the other hand, men are judged the same regardless of their accent.
Lead author Dr Jessica Spence said: “We found that prejudice against people with an accent is stronger against people from marginalized groups or minorities. This is alarming because more than 272 million people live in a country other than their place of birth, and this is one of the most common major drivers of immigration. Their strength is to create jobs. Better than those in their home country. Non-standard dialects work against candidates as they fight in the minority.”
The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, examined the success rate of 4,576 people interviewed in total.
All speak English with a variety of accents, including American, Mexican-American, British, Arabic and Chinese.
They found that there was a “strong bias” if the candidate had a foreign accent influenced by their native language, such as English with a Chinese accent.
However, this does not apply to regional vernaculars defined as acceptable local differences, such as North American and South American, or racial differences, such as Native American or Afro-American race.
The bias against applicants for contactless jobs is stronger, so the researchers concluded that this is also related to the potential job performance of the candidate.
In fact, the comprehensibility of an applicant’s accent, or how easy it is to understand, does not seem to influence this observed recruitment bias.
Researchers hypothesize that some employers use communication requirements to justify their prejudices against applicants with an accent.
The researchers noted that the degree of prejudice was related to the interviewer’s perception of the candidates’ social status.
It is measured using traits such as ability, intelligence, social class, confidence, ambition, competitiveness, independence, and wealth.
Norm-based applicants are often rated higher than professional but non-normative applicants, so hiring bias may reflect “pre-existing stereotype-driven biases.”
The team hopes to use their research to help reduce accent-based discrimination by raising employers’ awareness of the issue.
Source: Daily Mail
Source: Arabic RT