A recent study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that ethnic minorities with “non-standard” accents are more likely to be discriminated against during job interviews.
A “standard” accent is a well-known and generally accepted way of speaking, such as a British or American accent.
By analyzing 27 papers on accent bias in hiring, which included 4,576 subjects and involved American, British, Mexican, Arabic, European and Asian accents of English.
The researchers found that different regional accents (e.g., American English compared to British English) had little effect on hiring outcomes, but that foreign accents (e.g., Chinese English) were vulnerable to discrimination.
In addition, women with “non-standard” accents were more likely to face bias than men.
In the future, researchers hope to delve deeper into the underlying causes in order to reduce the impact of accent bias on hiring decisions.