Undercover job hunters reveal huge race bias in Britain’s workplaces (18 October 2009):
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.
It also finds that public sector employers were less likely to have discriminated on the grounds of race than those in the private sector.
One reason for this discrepancy, according to the conclusion, is the use of standard application forms in the public sector which hide or disguise the ethnicity of an applicant. The research is also understood to have found that larger employers were less likely to discriminate than small employers.
Read the rest of the article at the Guardian.
The existence of racism is why Affirmative Action/Employment Equity/positive action for racial minorities is necessary (and still insufficient) for attenuating white privilege in the job market.