January 25, 2017 | 60 minutes

[New Research] Why Matthew but not Samir? Disrupting the Hiring Bias

Archived webinar featured on January 25, 2017

In the new research report,“Do Large Employers Treat Racial Minorities More Fairly?”, the research team of Dr. Rupa Banerjee, Dr. Jeffrey Reitz and Dr. Philip Oreopoulos, set out to understand the extent of discrimination against skilled immigrants from Asian backgrounds in Canada today, and investigated whether this type of discrimination varies according to employer characteristics. For example, does discrimination vary according to the size of the organization? Is discrimination minimized through the use of modern human resource management processes?

In an exclusive research release on January 25, 2017, Dr. Rupa Banerjee reviewed the research findings, and demonstrated the negative impact hiring bias has on job-seekers with non-Anglo names, and employers as well, who miss out on talent. Watch this video to learn more about the recent research findings

Bias – conscious or unconscious – favors certain candidates in the hiring process. Characteristics like name, gender and ethnicity have nothing to do with a candidate’s talent or potential but are barriers to employment. Matthew is more likely to get called in for an interview than Samir. This webinar will address how bias limits workforce diversity, with a focus on immigrants.

In this webinar you will:

  • Learn how and why unconscious bias occurs.
  • Hear why current systems do not bring the best and brightest into their workforce.
  • Take away practical solutions being tested by employers to disrupt hiring bias.

Additional resources:


Phil Oreopoulos head shot

Phil Oreopoulos is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research. He has held a previous visiting appointment at Harvard and MIT and is editor of the Journal of Labor Economics. Phil is also co-author of an influential study here in Canada which directly inspired this webinar’s title: “Why do some employers prefer to interview Matthew but not Samir?”

Heidi Walker

Heidi Walker is a founding team member and Business Evangelist at GapJumpers in San Francisco. Heidi has 13 years of international Human Capital work experience at a senior level in world-leading companies GE Insurance Solutions, Swiss Re, and Bloomberg. Her work has taken her to Europe, China and home to the US. She is an entrepreneur who founded The Parenting Difference before joining the founding team of GapJumpers to put into action a philosophy that blind auditions improve diversity of talent without compromising on excellence.


Moderator: Ratna Omidvar (moderator) is the founding Executive Director of the Global Diversity Exchange at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University. Ratna is a Member of both the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario, with the honours recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and visible minorities and her devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. In 2015 Ratna was named as one of the Top 10 Diversity Champions worldwide in the inaugural Global Diversity List sponsored by The Economist magazine. She is also the co-author of the newly                                      released book Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (2015).



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