Will it ever stop? The need to put rules in place to tackle discrimination. Why have we not learned that to date these rules are not stopping discrimination. We need to educate. This will not avoid or even reduce discrimination it is just procrastinating the same decision.
It has been suggested with some application studies that those with more ethnic names tend to be less successful at getting the interview. I am not arguing with the results of the study but I am arguing with the fact that the study is not really evaluating why these individuals did not succeed and although they might have a more ethnic sounding name, that is not why they will have been rejected.
20 years ago we might have seen that more ethnic sounding names on a higher percentage basis have not had the english to a high standard, but on a numbers basis I can honestly say that this is not the case today and even over the last 4 or 5 years that hasn’t been the case. We are on 4th and 5th generation of different ethnicities and their English is often to a higher standard than those with an Anglian name. But regardless of this, if the individual is right on paper for a call then they will get one regardless of their name and that will be their moment to demonstrate what they can do. Their name will be irrelevant if the employer is hearing what they need to hear.
I think this call of David Cameron’s is very disappointing, as it is suggesting that as a society we haven’t moved on at all and it is even insulting. Bearing in mind this process is being aimed at large corporates who have a HR department undertaking the screening, are these companies saying that the individuals they have recruited to do this job are discriminating themselves and that a rule is needed? I think the bigger question is where this discrimination has come from as I am sure I have the backing of recruitment companies when I say, all we want is the right person for the job and the name we barely take notice of until we need to use it!.
I wholeheartedly disagree with discrimination in any form but what is wrong is how we are trying to tackle it by removing the name on the application or cv. If the personal prejudice of an individual is already in place then the discrimination will still happen just later on in the process therefore, we are just procrastinating the inevitable.
Removing a name on an application or CV is very similar to removing the date of birth or age to avoid age Discrimination. Again it hasn’t prevented discrimination of that kind at all. All it has done is delayed the decision being made because the Company can’t find out their age until a later stage of the process. Where somebody wants an individual younger or older or of a certain age, they will find their way of getting them. It is unfair on the applicant to not get a job because of ethnicity or age, however it is even more unfair to take them further down the process and waste their time when that prejudice is not going to change.
Individuals find their own way of fighting if they feel they are being discriminated against, and I am not saying via tribunals. They overcome the application judgements being made and if you feel somebody is ruling you out because of your name then make the right call and understand what assessments are being made and who knows you might find that what you can demonstrate on the call, might even overcome the real reason they have ruled you out.
I can assure you companies recruit the right person for the job! This is their ultimate goal to keep their business going and make money, that’s how they move the business forward. SO if you are right for the job and you are demonstrating a skill or the right fit then your name is not going to be relevant, that I can guarantee you.
We feel that by making rules it solves the problem and it doesn’t. Let’s just educate the applicant so they always know how to challenge the process and they have the opportunity to demonstrate they have got what it takes regardless of early prejudgements.