Name discrimination is now so common that job seekers who don’t have an Anglo-sounding name are using pseudonyms on CVs and applications to secure an interview.
Research suggests that job seekers with Chinese, Middle Eastern and Indigenous sounding names are far less likely to get called for an interview.
Rudabah to Ruby
Speaking to ABC Life, 28 year-old human resources professional, Rudabah, said she made the conscious decision to keep her “long and complicated” full name on her CV after leaving her first job at a consulting firm.
“But I just wasn’t getting any calls from [recruitment] agencies,” she said.
Eventually, she decided to change her CV to show her nickname, Ruby.
“And I kid you not, [I got so] many more calls.”
Mohamed or Michael
ABC Life also spoke with 26 year-old corporate lawyer Mohamed, who said that when he was at university, he rarely got calls back when applying for casual jobs.
He’d have to show up in person and introduce himself before anyone would consider him.
That pattern continued when he started applying for professional positions.
Mohamed said that during his time at law school, he sent 20 to 25 CVs to various firms, but heard nothing back.
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims said it is a sad reality in today’s job market, and advises job seekers to keep their options open.
“It is an annoying and infuriating reason to miss out on a job, but unfortunately, we are not going to change people’s prejudices overnight,” he said.
“If you really want that job, and you haven’t been having any success as Mohamed, then maybe it’s worth giving it a go as Michael.
“To beat the next person for the job, you’ve got to do everything you can to maximise your chances, and that might include removing anything that can give an employer the wrong impression of you – like your name.”
Sometimes you just have to do it to get your foot in the door
She told ABC Life that changing her name really bothered her, but accepts that it probably made the difference in finally landing a job.
“Don’t play into [the pressure]” she advises. “But, when you’re desperate, sometimes you just have to do it to get your foot in the door.”
Rudabah now works in the public sector which she says is a much more inclusive employer.
While she still goes by the nickname Ruby, her work email features her full name, in all its “long and complicated” glory!
If you have experienced discrimination based on your race, ethnic origin, skin colour or religion, you may be entitled to compensation.
For help and advice, please call our team at Discrimination Claims today on
1300 853 837
For the latest workplace news, please follow us on: