Speed Reads

Under a bushel

Employers discriminate against religious (or irreligious) candidates, study finds

Religion (or atheism) hurts your résumé. Researchers Bradley R. E. Wright and Michael Wallace conducted an experiment using 9,600 résumés sent to employers in New England and in the South. They were résumés typical of college graduates searching for entry level work. The only difference was that some revealed a religious or irreligious affiliation. For instance, some would have the applicant leading a campus Jewish, Muslim or Atheist group on campus, whereas the control group résumés showed the applicant leading a group with no religious affiliation.

The control group with no religious or irreligious indication got 20 percent more responses on average than other candidates. And of the religious candidates, Muslims fared the worst by far, receiving on average 40 percent less interest from employers than the control group. Bradley R.E. Wright writes:

The remaining six groups fell in between the control group and Muslims. Among them, the pagan résumés did relatively well, the atheist résumés did relatively poorly, and Jews, evangelicals, Catholics, and Wallonians [a fake religion] were in the middle. .... So yes, religious discrimination in hiring seems to be very, very real. Our study seems to confirm a social norm in America: that religious expression should be compartmentalized and private, something kept at home or brought out only in specific, limited circumstances. [Christianity Today]