HomeUKIf You're Black, People Are More Likely To Ignore Your Emails

If You’re Black, People Are More Likely To Ignore Your Emails

Black people face everyday microaggressions and racism at work – and a study has shown how. It found that people are less likely to reply to emails if they think the sender may be Black.

The large-scale research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, observed a quarter of a million Americans to draw its conclusions.

The researchers, whose main focus was racial biases in communication, contacted 250,000 email addresses taken from nationwide voter registration and a commercial email list.

The sample was reflective of the US population, comprising of white Americans, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Black, and Hispanic/Latino.

All respondents received two emails – one from an assumed white sender, and one with an assumed Black sender – weeks apart. Researchers alternated between sending emails from a Black sender and white sender first.

The names of the sender were changed to sound stereotypically Black or white. Recipients of the email were sent a survey about contemporary political issues.

Despite the emails having the same premise, but the names changed, more than 15% of respondents replied to the white sender.

The sender presumed to be white received 4,007 responses while the sender thought to be Black retained 3,620 messages.

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