2011 Census Data | Why it matters


WHY DOES ACCENT MODIFICATION MATTER?

Although the final tallies aren't in for the 2016 census (or I couldn't find them), we can consider the 2011 Canadian census data to frame the viewpoint.


In Vancouver, 50.2% of the population reported English only as mother tongue, 1.5% reported French only, and 45.4% reported a non-official language only, in 2011.

That means that 49.8% of the population's first language is not English. 49.8% of the population are not native English speakers.

Almost half the population speaks a language other than English as their native language.

Furthermore, approximately 420,000 people fall between 20 and 65 years old. Assuming, for sake of argument, the 'English as a native language' stats are equally distributed across ages, just under 210,000 working class people in Vancouver do not speak English as their first language.

WHAT'S YOUR POINT?

The point is that despite the fact that metropolitan cities across North America such as Vancouver statistically acknowledge their multicultural composition, concerns regarding hiring bias, a preference for even Anglo names and foreign accent English continue to remain an issue. The unemployment rates of recent Canadian immigrants to similarly-aged non-immigrants are almost twice as high and median wages are about 49% lower compared to native-born workers (Canadian Census 2006).

Despite immigration policies focused on attracting immigrants with superior levels of education, experience and industry demand, these problems suggest that recent immigrants are not integrating into the high-skilled labour market they were solicited for.

SO WE'VE NOW ACKNOWLEDGED THERE IS A PROBLEM

It may not be overt, it may not even be consciously known, but it is there. Some organizations are trying to restructure their hiring process to address these hiring biases but until a blind recruitment policy is implemented everywhere, these will remain rare. It is therefore imperative to be careful of this perception and do what you individually can to limit the impact of biases.

ACCENT MODIFICATION is a way to learn how to code-switch or make your speech more intelligible for your professional and business endeavors - to address one of the hiring biases against you.

References

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-csd-eng.cfm?LANG=Eng&GK=CSD&GC=5915022

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/blind-recruitment-marketplace-1.3462061

http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/2017/01/25/hiring-bias-against-minorities/

https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2017/01/25/better-education-doesnt-help-asian-job-candidates-beat-out-anglos-study.html

http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2095%20-%20Dechief%20and%20Oreopoulos.pdf

http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2095%20-%20Dechief%20and%20Oreopoulos.pdf

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/accents-and-hiring-decisions


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