De-Identifying Race and Ethnicity Reduces Bias, by David Henderson

July 19, 2017
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De-Identifying Race and Ethnicity Reduces Bias, by David Henderson

But not in the way you might expect.

What we found is that de-identifying applications at the shortlisting stage of recruitment does not appear to assist in promoting diversity in hiring. In fact, in the trial we found that overall, APS [Australian Public Service] officers generally discriminated in favour of female and minority candidates. This suggests that the APS has been successful to some degree in efforts to promote awareness and support for diversity among senior staff. It also means that introducing de-identification of applications in such a context may have the unintended consequence of decreasing the number of female and minority candidates shortlisted for senior APS positions, setting back efforts to promote more diversity at the senior management levels in the public service.

This is from “Going blind to see more clearly: unconscious bias in Australian Public Service shortlisting processes,” June, 2017. The study was written by Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA).

HT2 Scott Alexander.

(Why?)

Category: Unintended Consequences

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