Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anglicising one's name

Today's papers are quoting a research* which finds that it is much easier to get called for an interview if you have an Anglo-sounding name than a Chinese or a Middle-Eastern one. The study sent out 4000 fake resumes for entry-level waiting, data-entry, customer service and sales job.

"The research found that overall, Chinese job seekers were called back 21 per cent of the time they applied for a job, compared with 22 per cent for Middle Eastern people and 26 per cent for indigenous applicants. By comparison, Anglo-Saxon job seekers were called back 35 per cent of the time, only slightly ahead of Italians on 32 per cent."

The research says nothing more than that it is easier to get called for a job interview if you have an Anglo-sounding name**. It would be wrong, however, to infer that racial prejudice exists. If any amount of prejudice exists, it is only IN FAVOR of Chinese, Middle Eastern, and indigenous people. Anglo-Saxons make up more than 90% of the Australian population, and the jobs advertised for require direct interaction with mostly Anglo-Saxons. If the successfully employed share the same percentages, wouldn't Anglo-Saxons be under-represented in these jobs? Such data can only prove that Australia has come a long way since the days of White Australia policy.

*e.g. See:,22606,25649837-5005962,00.html

** This is assuming that the number of fake resumes were evenly made up of the different races, and that applicants outside of the research group were not significant enough to upset this assumption.

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