No-name job letters ‘help women and migrants’

No-name job letters 'help women and migrants'
Photo: DPA
Women and foreigners in Germany are more likely to get a job interview if they send in anonymous applications which do not include details of age, gender or name, a new survey shows.

The idea of anonymous job applications has long been discussed – and rejected – in Germany, but the latest study commissioned by the government’s anti-discrimination authority concludes it could be helpful for victims of blanket judgements, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the Institute for the Study of Labour and the Viadrina University in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, sent 8,500 anonymous applications to five companies and three public employers, including Deutsche Post, L’Oréal and the Family Ministry.

All personal information such as name, age and gender were omitted, as were photographs – personal information was only revealed after the decision whether to offer the candidate an interview was made, considered the major hurdle for discriminated applicants.

Christine Lüders, head of the anti-discrimination authority told theSüddeutsche Zeitung, “The study shows that anonymous applications direct the focus on qualifications.”

Women and immigrants generally had the same prospects of being called for interview as other applicants – when their applications were made anonymous.

The study aimed to offer a possible solution to the long-standing problem of employer prejudice against immigrants and women of childbearing age – especially as last summer the government pointed to these groups as areas where Germany might hope to redress a current dearth of experts.

Previous studies have suggested that a foreign-sounding name and for women, being of child-bearing age, can reduce the chances of being called for interview.

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