Hoping to tackle CV prejudice, major employers have agreed to hide candidate names on their application processes.
UK employers are more likely to offer interviews to candidates with ‘white-sounding names’, according to The Financial Times (FT). Government research in 2009 found those with non-white names were less probable to be selected, despite their applications being identical.
At his conference in Manchester, David Cameron promised to end this discrimination in the workplace. The Telegraph reported that during the keynote address, he said: “Do you know that in our country today, even if they have exactly the same qualifications, people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get call-backs for jobs than people with ethnic-sounding names?”
He discussed the case of Jorden Berkeley who was a Black graduate aged 22 and rejected by several employers before being advised by a careers consultant to use her middle name. Cameron continued: “One young black girl had to change her name to Elizabeth before she got any calls to interviews. That, in 21st-century Britain, is disgraceful.”
Big employers that opted to go ‘name-blind’ play a significant role in the employment market as they employ approximately two million people in the UK. These include the NHS, HSBC, Deloitte, BBC, Teach First, Virgin Money, KPMG, learndirect and local government employers.
Ucas, which is the system for those applying to university, is also said to enforce the ‘name-blind’ process in order to tackle the racial bias.
Whilst most firms will use it for young people applying to graduate and apprenticeship roles, the civil service will also use it but for a wider range of positions, including those at senior levels. Cameron is now calling on other businesses to also embrace the ‘no name’ application process.
The Times reported that the ‘name-blind’ applications will move to closing the gender pay gap and hopes to increase the female representation at board level. The FT stated that women’s hourly earnings are approximately 9% lower than men’s. The government’s recent plans to tackle discrimination will put pressure on employers to publish information on the average bonuses as well.
According to The Mirror, Cameron commented on his speech. “I said in my conference speech that I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country.
“Today we are delivering on that commitment and extending opportunity to all.”
Original article found on HR Grapevine