“Muslim women are three times more likely to be unemployed than women generally” is a statement that really hits home. For a British-born Indian, growing up with two minority religions (in the UK), the struggles I endured in order to find a job has, to put bluntly, been devastating.
From exasperation to self-doubt, I have felt a myriad of emotions through my journey. Having being born in a Western society, I have been through the motions along with every other graduate in my cohort. Having also grown up with different traditions and morals and has given me a unique perspective. Traditional and out-dated biases and stereotypes are very much prominent and I have faced the discrimination linked to this.
With the current method of CV-screening in the recruitment industry, I struggle to believe I have been screened according to my race and religion. Especially living in London, one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Instead, I make up excuses and cause myself to doubt my own abilities.
If I were to remove my name from my CV, it would look like any other. With a strong education and matching results, a healthy amount of work experience, and fantastic extra-curricular contributions, I don’t understand why I have always been unsuccessful. I have never been invited to an interview stage and interviewers are always too busy to provide me with feedback. Without guidance, am I being too rash to jump to conclusions? To think that two words – a name – then tarnish all my achievements and experiences?
After a four-year stint of constant applications and battling a degree, I was finally given a chance. Brightsparks recognised my values, skills, and experiences and in turn gave me the opportunity that I should be entitled to. This didn’t come without a thorough and rigorous process. But they liked what they saw and then hired me.
No-name blind-recruitment does not give people an opportunity. An already profiled group of individuals are no longer entitled to their name due to dated mind-sets. Assessing on values and ability to actually do a job well are what will help a business grow. Boosting the richness of your team with diversity will drive success.
Give individuals an opportunity to show they are more than the stereotypes and preconceived ideas that society holds.
By Radha Shah, Talent Manager at Brightsparks.