Unless you have had your head in the sand, the climate for religious freedom just officially became more chilly when a sociology group at the University of Connecticut found that resumes mentioning any form of faith were 26% less likely to be contacted by the employers.http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/02/why-you-shouldnt-put-religion-on-your-resume/?iref=allsearch
In a story published by Sara Grossman of CNN, if you are Muslim, pagan, or an atheist job applicant, you were the least likely to be contacted by any potential employer.
The University of Connecticut group sent out 3,200 nearly identical resumes to 800 employers in two major cities in the South and changed only a reference of participation in a religious studies group while attending college which included affiliations to Judaism, evangelical Christianity, or Islam. Another control group of resumes featured no religious references to religion.
The researchers included a test that had a fake religion called “Wallonism” in order to measure the degree which people would discriminate when being completely unfamiliar to a particular religious faith.
The survey found that non-religious resumes received a response back from employers 18% of the time. In comparison resumes with Muslim references received responses less than 11% of the time closely followed by atheists at 12%. The “Wallonian” resumes received 13% responses which tied with Catholics and pagans.
Jewish resumes received the most positive feedback at 16.5% of the time closely followed by Christian evangelicals which received responses a little less than 16% of the time.
The South is touted to be the most religious region in the United States, however the responses from the companies located in the two Southern cities suggests that employers prefer applicants who are not public about their religious connections according to a social analysis by the University of Connecticut researchers.
In a summary the authors of the survey wrote, “While religion is central to Southern life and Southerners more openly display their religious beliefs than citizens in other parts of the country, they also embrace the “secular” notion that there is a proper time and place for religious expression”.
It is an interesting note that the most religious region in the country has adopted a secular belief that religion should not be public, thus sharing faith in the work place is a possible concern with those associated with employment in the country’s human resource departments.
Even in the deep South, according to researchers, most employers draw the line against overt expressions or religious belief in the workplace or have reservations about “religious” people.
However Rachel Kranson is an assistant professor of religion at the University of Pittsburgh, and she gave a different take on Jewish resumes receiving more positive results than other religions.
Kranson theorized, “People’s religious identities do not exist in a vacuum, and intersect with categories of race and class. Employer’s preference for Jews may also indicate a preference for white workers from well-off backgrounds”.
The disparity of religious resumes not being contacted was mirrored in the New England region by the same research group last year. Muslims were the most discriminated while Jewish resumes were contacted more than other religious affiliations.
Muslim resumes in New England received 32% fewer emails and 48% fewer phone calls than job candidates not mentioning religious affiliation. In the South Muslim applications received 38% fewer e-mails and 54% fewer phone calls.
The authors of the survey wrote this contradictory observation, “This suggests, ironically, that religious discrimination in hiring is most prevalent in regions of the country where religion is most passionately practiced.