black UK

Undercover job hunters reveal huge race bias in Britain’s workplaces

Civil servants created false identities to send CVs to hundreds of employers in sting to uncover discrimination.

Hat tip to Angela Shaw who sent me this article from the guardian.co.uk.

A government sting operation targeting hundreds of employers across Britain has uncovered widespread racial discrimination against workers with African and Asian names.

Researchers sent nearly 3,000 job applications under false identities in an attempt to discover if employers were discriminating against jobseekers with foreign names. Using names recognisably from three different communities – Nazia Mahmood, Mariam Namagembe and Alison Taylor – false identities were created with similar experience and qualifications. Every false applicant had British education and work histories.

They found that an applicant who appeared to be white would send nine applications before receiving a positive response of either an invitation to an interview or an encouraging telephone call. Minority candidates with the same qualifications and experience had to send 16 applications before receiving a similar response.

Read the full article on the Guradian website.

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6 Comments

  1. Interesting study…which sadly doesn't surprise me at all. I've heard horror stories from folks in the Black British community who have obviously “ethnic” sounding names. For some of the previous job interviews I've gone on (both U.S. and UK), I sometimes wondered if the fact that my name is more “Anglo” has helped me to get to the interview stage. I can think of at least one interview in particular where my interviewer seemed a bit surprised/taken aback when she actually meet me.

  2. Yes, I was disappointed but not surprised by the study. And you're right, My Anglo name has definitely helped me in the US and UK job market. And like you I've surpriseda few interviewers when we'vemet face-to-face, even after talking on the phone.

  3. Creating_Tomorrow says:

    There have been similar studies done in both the US and France with pretty much the same results. In France they used Middle Eastern or African names, in the States they used so-called “black-sounding” names. We've may have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go…

  4. I have a Senegalese friend in the States that did work for the Housing Depatment on the federal level to see if there was discrimination in the housing market.

  5. This is really disappointing, yet unsurprising at all. I wish that we can figure out a way to minimize and ultimately abolish this backwards way of thinking.

  6. This is really disappointing, yet unsurprising at all. I wish that we can figure out a way to minimize and ultimately abolish this backwards way of thinking.

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