What If Your Name Doesn't "Match" Your Ethnicity?

I read a really interesting post on Susan Ireland’s Job Lounge entitled “Should Muhammad Use a Different Name on His Resume?

It made me sad to think that a person would have to change something that could be a significant part of his identity for the sake of getting a job. No one should have to succumb to that kind of pressure for employment. As many commenters pointed out, would he seriously want to work at a place that has that type of corporate culture? I know I would have my misgivings.

As I continued to think about this post, I started to wonder how this may impact my children, who were internationally adopted. Their names are definitely names that are accepted as “Euro-American” names, but when you see them, they clearly aren’t. Will they face discrimination in interviews because their physical appearances don’t seem to “match” their names?

You know, an interviewer makes the assumption based on the name and thinks that my son or daughter is either Caucasian or African-American. And then in strolls an obviously Asian person. I know it’s not out of the realm of possibility of this happening because I have read a couple blogs by women who were internationally adopted, and both of them experienced situations in which people who didn’t know what they looked like were usually thrown off by their names or even expected them to not be able to speak English well.

Perhaps in the age of pictures on social media profiles, this won’t be such an issue (and granted, it will be a while before this happens as my kids are young). As a mom, I certainly hope it won’t be.

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