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This is definitely the new face of racism

Hiring managers are definitely limiting themselves by being averse to a candidate’s name and are thereby losing out on true talent. By judging candidates based on their name, businesses are not only losing out on great candidates but also on cultural diversity in the workplace. Sadly, this is something that is evident in various workplaces around the world and not just limited to the case study done in Australia, and this is not a new phenomena. It dates back to Edward Said’s theory on orientalism - the West versus the Orient and vice versa. Essentially, anything that stands out of the crowd will get picked on. By creating a wall that divides us from ‘them’, hiring managers are creating a negative environment that will lead to negative health and social impacts, which in turn creates a divided society. It is unfair to the candidate that he or she is judged based on origin, rather than his or her qualifications. It is part of every human being’s right to get equal opportunities and representation in the labour market. This is definitely the new face of racism and a cause for concern, which will only get worse unless addressed at the earliest. Authorities need to look into this in order to bridge the gap between various nationalities and the perception that people have in society.

From Mr Mohannad Al Zoubaydi

Iraqi student based in Gothenburg, Sweden

The disintegration of society.

A candidate with a Western sounding name might give some people an extra advantage during their job hunt, but on the other hand, it might come as a curse for those who do not have such names as they will stand a lesser chance of landing a job, according to the study done at The Australian National University.

In my opinion, this situation may often arise and somehow it touches reality, a valid and concerning issue nowadays. However, I feel that many recently upcoming companies are trying to make sure that they hire employees according to their capabilities, work experiences and qualities regardless of their ethnic group or name.

Moreover, as has been said about racism on the basis of an applicant’s name, it also shows that this might set a trend of some job seekers adjusting their names on their resumes in order to get a chance for a job interview. But, would such a trend really work?

Due to the racial inequality in the labour market, such discrimination will not allow applicants with good qualifications to be called for an interview, and they will not get the chance to be evaluated. And the extent of race-based jobs will give rise to an alarming trend within companies since they will not benefit anymore from employees who are experienced and have the right credentials.

Looking forward, such a trend will put the the social order and economy at a risk. This may result in disintegration of society. To sum up, I really feel that the only plausible solution to racism at the workplace is hiring managers or HR executives within each company to make sure that all job résumés and applications are thoroughly checked in order to pick employees on the basis of qualifications and not on the basis of race. And this will result in increasing the productivity and innovation within the workplace.

From Ms Rania Adnan Atoum

Student, University of Sharjah

Racial bias impacts the workplace

There has already been different studies conducted to try to prove that there is indeed discrimination in the labour market. While many think this is difficult to prove, I would say that there is no need to prove it - this bias has always been present throughout history and everybody knows it. It is, however, embarrassing to point out now that such things still exist in the generation of the so-called “civilised”, in the world of “professionals”. Deny if you wish, but this much is true even in companies who claim to be practicing equal opportunity employment.

Let me point out for example, job advertisements through which hiring managers say they prefer candidates who are “Western educated” (with due respect to Western-educated people). To note, Western education began as European in origin and progressed to North America, New Zealand and Australia to its known geography at present. So such an advertisements with explicit preference to race-based qualification is already a form of subtle discrimination in itself; that to an applicant who is far from being Western educated (this is even judged by how the applicant’s name sounds), getting a call for interview from this employer is next to impossible regardless of how qualified he or she might be for the post. He or she might be perfect for the job, but the opportunity has evaporated right away just because he does not belong to the preferred ‘Western educated’ category.

Without knowing it, we are cultivating inferiority complexes in our workplaces. This in turn leads employees to become over-achievers and people-pleasers motivated by the feeling of inferiority or low self-worth or a group that’s withdrawn and anti-social.

From Ms Celeste Gacita-Lamberang

Finance administrator and analyst based in Dubai

We cannot have race as a deciding factor

As many professional organizations are becoming susceptible to racism lately, it’s important to highlight a few more important areas of concern, the trend of such a racism pattern, how it starts and to what extent it’s impacting people.

Since I am also a part of the hiring process in my organization, I do not agree that merely a name of a candidate can really be a deciding factor in employing a new staff member, be it any stream. We understand that such an act shall not only hinder the growth of an institution but will also affect to a growing economy. An institution or any organization flourishes due to the unbeatable abilities of its staff. Keeping that in mind it is important to appoint the right kind of people and the right kind of leaders, we cannot have race as a deciding factor.

An ability of a person in his or her field and his talent cannot be measured by their geographical roots, and it’s very important that equal opportunities be given to all irrespective of their ethnicity. This kind of discrimination not only brings in negative impact on the growth financially but also divides people socio-culturally.

There is a need in society to bring about a change and bridge the societal differences but having said that, it’s also important that people working in various organizations, understand that maintaining this gap and harbouring racist feelings will only result in a loss.

We all must grow out of such practices and bring people in society closer on all fronts, be it professionally, culturally or socially. We need to put a halt to racism.

From Ms Sudha Kahuria

Principal of a nursery based in Dubai

Opens new doors to qualified workers

A multi-faceted workforce has become an essential part of every organization competing in today’s market. In addition to having skilful and experienced employees, a multicultural workforce is one of the key driving forces behind a successful business in the global market of the 21st century.

Modern communication technologies have rendered distances obsolete; we are no longer living in isolation. People around the world are exposed to other cultures on a daily basis. From Chinese food to American movies and everything in between, the modern customers are well educated, well informed, and well aware of the world surrounding them. As a result of this new global enlightenment, companies are facing an unprecedented demand for product localisation and market expansion.

A multicultural workforce plays an essential role in this relatively new global market. Some companies have adapted blind hiring practices to avoid biases when it comes to the employment process. Such companies are not only gaining benefits on the business level; they are also creating friendly and diverse working environments that mimic the large market and its diversity.

Recruiting from a diverse pool of employees opens new doors to qualified workers. This doesn’t only benefit the workers themselves, it also enriches the collective experience in the workplace and drives the competition and creativity among workers. Having a pool of employees with multilingual skills, exposed to different cultures, and educated in different schools around the world bring positive outcomes to any business.

Companies that adapt racist hiring practices will notice eventually the reflection of these practices not only on their work environment but also on their revenue and ability to compete in a competitive market. Racism in the working marketplace has negative implications on everyone, from job seeking people to employers and investors.

From Mr Kais Zacharia

General Manager of a translation and consultancy firm based in Dubai