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Monday, April 25, 2011

Racial Discrimination

Racial Discrimination

Here are the facts:

Identical resumes were submitted in Chicago and Boston during 2001 and 2002. Half were tagged with "white-sounding" names and half with "black-sounding" names.

Eighteen names were used for the resumes. Nine were "white-sounding":

  • Emily
  • Anne
  • Jill
  • Allison
  • Laurie
  • Sarah
  • Meredith
  • Carrie
  • Kristen

Nine were "black-sounding":

  • Aisha
  • Keish
  • Tamika
  • Lakisha
  • Tanisha
  • Latoya
  • Kenya
  • Latonya
  • Ebony

Two names received the most call backs for interviews, 26%:

  • Kristen
  • Carrie

Two names received the least call backs for interviews, 6%:

  • Keish
  • Aisha

The resumes were identical.

The top five names for call back interviews:

  • Kristen
  • Carrie
  • Meredith
  • Sarah
  • Laurie

The bottom five names for call back interviews:

  • Tanisha

  • Lakisha
  • Tamika
  • Keish
  • Aisha

The resumes were identical.

The highest "white-sounding" call back name:

Kristen, 13%

The highest "black-sounding" call back name:

Ebony, 9%

The lowest "white-sounding" call back name:

Emily, 8%

The lowest "black-sounding" call back name:

Aisha, 2%

The resumes were identical.

Image courtesy of Bertrand, Marianne and Sendhil Mullainathan. 2004. “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” American Economic Review 94(4): 991-1013.

Source: http://www.stanford.edu

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Procrastination

Procrastination

Trent Hamm has written a review of Brian Tracy's book Eat That Frog!

Here is a quick description of the important points about procrastination that Trent draws out of the book:

The 80/20 Rule

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Curiously, he also calculated that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. He surveyed the economies of other countries and found a similar income and wealth distribution in each.

A business-management consultant, Joseph M. Juran, developed the observations of Pareto into a principle of economics, the Pareto Principle. Businesses commonly cite a rule of thumb: "80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients".

The Pareto Principle is also known as the "Champagne Glass Effect", with the wider mouth of the glass holding 80% of the champagne, although it's only the top 20% of the height of the glass.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

This 80/20 rule applies to productivity: 20% of the time you invest in something will produce 80% of the results.

Brian recommends avoiding procrastination by recognizing and harnessing the power of that 20%. When you find yourself "in the groove" and being productive, don't stop. Regardless of when the project is due, it's better to spend a productive hour now than waiting until later when you might have three or four hours. Waiting until later virtually guarantees that that your mind will be less alert and less productive, despite having more time.

Prioritize: ABCDE

Brian recommends the "ABCDE method" of prioritizing your tasks. Tasks marked with an "A" are of the highest priority.

If you add the factor of due date, it will become obvious which task you should be working on. The "A" tasks with the nearest due date should be on your to-do list for today. Focus on that task, and only that task, until it's done.

Break the Task Down

Some projects seem too huge to handle. Looking at the whole project, from beginning to end, can overwhelm you, making it easier to just procrastinate.

Spend some time breaking that big project down into smaller pieces until the pieces by themselves seem manageable.

Single Tasking

After breaking the project down into small steps, start working on the first step and don't stop until it's done.

Procrastination is a sneaky fellow. He'll persuade you to do a task halfway and then quit. The half-done task will then languish in the morass of procrastination until you have to panic and finish the job in the very last moments before the deadline.

Read all of Trent's review of Eat That Frog! here: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2011/04/03/review-eat-that-frog/

Image courtesy of Diana Myrndorff, modified with GIMP

Friday, April 8, 2011

What are your strengths?

What are your strengths? Ask a colleague.

Good article about how to answer one of the toughest interview questions: What are your strengths?

Author Toni Bowers suggests preparing for this question before the interview by asking some friends or coworkers:

What are my strengths?

What unique quality do I bring?

At the interview, wait for the inevitable question (Wait for it...wait for it...) and then shock the interviewer by saying:

Instead of depending upon my own view of myself, I decided to quiz my coworkers!

Sounds like a great idea!

Read the entire article here: www.techrepublic.com

Image courtesy of Adrian van Leen