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Managing Stereotype Threat on the Job Market

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 45:30 p.m.

Walsh Library, O’Hare Special Collections Room
Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus, 441 E. Fordham Rd.
Bronx, NY 10458
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Join GSAS Futures in conversation with Rufus E. Jones, co-founder and president of the James Weldon Johnson Foundation. Jones will discuss a challenge endemic to many new candidates seeking jobs in academic and industry circles alike: stereotype threat. Candidates are often unaware of the capacity for stereotype threat to negatively impact their pursuit of professional success. Stereotype threat involves an individual undermining his or her own performance at a given task because of widespread beliefs that a social group with which he or she identifies—including groups organized by race, gender, nation, or age—do not naturally perform well at that particular task.

Stereotype threat can breed anxiety and create conditions of self-sabotage in which job candidates struggle to perform well on interviews, to negotiate contracts with new employers, and to perform new jobs with competence and confidence. Feelings of discomfort may accompany settings where people feel there are few people like them. Nevertheless, enhanced awareness and understanding of stereotype threat can greatly reduce its effects.

Jones will discuss his own journey as an individual of color who moved from Harvard to Wall Street to roles promoting education and the arts as a teacher, administrator, coach, and fundraiser. Jones will discuss stereotype threat as he draws from his own experience as well as research he is co-facilitating with the James Weldon Johnson Foundation and a lab at New York University. He will discuss challenges that individuals may encounter as they pursue a range of professions and will offer practical coping strategies—including the use of interventions, language, and tactics to effectively handle various situations and mitigate the effects of stereotype threat to promote a job candidate’s success.

Light refreshments will be served.