Pronouns 'They/Them' Make Resumes More Likely To Be Ignored

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Is putting your pronouns on your resume a good idea? A study from Business.com indicates the answer is no, but their take on the issue is just wrong.

Finding a new job is just never any fun. It’s stressful, takes up a lot of time, and even in today’s virtual world it can cause one to have to burn up serious shoe leather. Interviews can be awkward, especially if one hasn’t done one’s homework. Add a healthy dose of Diversity, Inclusion & Equity (DIE) to that, and things can become downright unsettling.

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According to a new report from Business.com, a business resource platform, over 80% of nonbinary people believe that identifying as nonbinary would hurt their job search. Similarly, 51% believe their gender identity has affected their workplace experience “very or somewhat negatively.”

Ryan McGonagill, director of industry research at Business.com and author of the report, says these statistics show just how much work there is to do around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace.

Isn’t it funny how the Left, when issues like this arise, always proclaim that it’s due to uneducated schlemiels who just need to be brought to the Light, after which they’ll embrace the DIE deities and change hiring practices accordingly? Well, they’re barking up the wrong tree. Here’s the study synopsis:

Business.com also went a step further by sending two identical phantom resumes to “180 unique job postings that were explicitly open to entry-level candidates” in an effort to test “whether or not the inclusion of gender-neutral pronouns impacts how employers perceive resumes.”

“Both featured a gender-ambiguous name, ‘Taylor Williams.’ The only difference between the test and control resumes was the presence of gender pronouns on the test version,” McGonagill said in the report. “The test resume included “they/them” pronouns under the name in the header.” She/her and he/him pronouns were not tested.

The phantom resume including pronouns received 8% less interest than the one without, and fewer interview and phone screening invitations.

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Honestly, I’m surprised it was only 8%.

Some years back I had an acquaintance who ran a chain of those “we buy gold” stores across the NYC metro area and northern New Jersey. He hired and fired hundreds of people every year, as his clerk’s jobs were low-paying, required little skill and so saw high turnover. That being the case, he was presented with resumes and job applications in the thousands, every year. He once told me that he had a long list of danger signs that caused a resume to get round-filed immediately and anything that presented a candidate as being a thin-skinned, entitled sort made that list. This was before proclaiming one’s pronouns was a common practice, but I’m guessing that someone demanding to be addressed with the plural ‘they/them’ would have made his round-file list.

Honestly, were I hiring, proclaiming pronouns would probably reduce my chances of talking to that person, and I’ve done a fair amount of hiring and firing myself in more than forty years in the workplace. You develop a sense for someone who is, candidly, likely to be an HR complaint looking for a place to happen, and the easiest course of action is usually to just ignore that resume. In some cases, it may be unfair but life doesn’t come with any guarantees; anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

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Diversity hires may be all the rage in government and show business. But if you’re running a business that depends on producing a product, on time and on budget, in marketable quantities, and by the way making it a product people are willing to buy, then the smart move is to avoid ‘diversity’ hires at all costs. And someone who publicly proclaims ‘they/them’ pronouns, in addition to being grammatically incorrect, sends up all kinds of warning flares as to what kind of employee they’ll be. Hiring managers who take that into account are doing right by their places of business.

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