Discrimination against BAME job applicants unchanged since 1960s

Last week a survey found that discrimination against ethnic minority job applicants in the UK remains at the same “shocking” levels as the late 1960s.

The study by experts based at the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford found that candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds had to send 80% more job applications to get a positive response from an employer than a white person of British origin.

For Black Britons and those of South Asian origin, the level of discrimination had not changed since comparable surveys were made in the late 1960s.

As a proud and dedicated equal opportunities employer, listed as one of BitCs Best UK Employers for BAME people in both 2017 and 2018, as well as an international recruitment firm, we were shocked by this. It’s clearly a serious issue that will only be addressed by sustained and UK-wide action. Whether workplace bias is conscious or unconscious, it needs to be addressed and rooted out.

Besides the moral imperative to consider all candidates equally, both companies and employees stand to benefit from implementing truly meritocratic hiring practices.

Companies will access a wider pool of talent and thus have a better chance of finding a good number of high calibre candidates for roles. Evidence for the benefit of diverse workplaces is strong and this is something we champion to clients.

We know this from our own experience. Bramwith is an inclusive workplace where everyone is given the same opportunity to shine. It makes us a stronger team and motivates staff to achieve their best.

We would urge all companies, especially any concerned with a lack of diversity in their hiring, to take a 360 review of hiring practices. Make sure everyone responsible for advertising, sifting CVs and interviewing is trained in unconscious bias and understands the key actions for attracting a wide range of applicants.

Reading and signing up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work charter is a good first step, committing to five principle calls to action.

Please like, share and let me know what you think? Are these stats really accurate in your experience? And what can we do to change this?

Our previous blogs on the subject also give some guidance on improving D&I hiring practices. If you want to find out more about widening your talent pool and attracting high quality candidates of all backgrounds, get in touch with me on b.riley@bramwithconsulting.co.uk

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