Job applicants with English or ‘White sounding’ names get more call backs than those with ‘ethnic’ names, a study from the Monash University has revealed in April 2023.
During the two-year field research for the study, more than 12,000 job applications were sent to over 4000 job advertisements in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to investigate hiring discrimination against six ethnic groups for leadership positions in 12 different occupations.
The six different ethnic groups that were investigated by varying resumes include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Arabic, Chinese, English, Greek, and Indian.
The research also shows that, despite having similar resumes, applicants from ethnic minorities received 45.3% less positive responses for non-leadership roles and 57.4% fewer positive responses for leadership positions than applicants with English names.
Professional leaders and recent college graduates share their experiences with the Free Press Journal, describing the prejudice they had to endure in order to compete in the Australian job market.
"It took me more than 120 applications to land a basic entry-level job, despite having a master's degree and prior experience," claimed an Indian corporate executive who even had to change his name after migrating to Australia ten years ago in order to enter the Australian job market.
Sarvani Swayampakula, a Student Success Advisor at Melbourne recalls her experience of facing a similar situation right after completing her Master's program at La Trobe University, “In my case I definitely didn't have an English name when applying for a job.”
“During my interview, I was told that they wanted someone local or with a more local name, and hence my application was rejected,” added Sarvani.
A recent graduate of the University of Melbourne, Kanishk Gupta says “Having a non-English name is a major barrier, as it affects your application right from the start of the recruitment process."
Kanishk , who recently landed a job at a government agency in Melbourne, went on to say, "Whether conscious or unconscious, the barriers are very real, and these prejudices do exist. In compared to our ethnic make-up, the number of Indian nationals in senior positions is relatively low."
Indian-student at Australian National University, Harsh Nathani had a similar experience while looking for a part-time job.
"I had a difficult time finding a part-time job because I wasn't local, didn't look local, and didn't have a local-sounding name. However, after 20 interviews, I did get something," said Harsh.
"Most people assume that candidates with non-English names have poorer English communication skills. I've noticed that they consciously or subconsciously favour candidates with names they are familiar with," Harsh added.