Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little white lies: Agnok Lueth adopts 'Daniel McClean' on his CV to try to get a fair go

news article

A SUDANESE man who has applied unsuccessfully for more than 1000 jobs has resorted to using a fake Anglo name on his resume in a desperate attempt to get work.

Former refugee Agnok Lueth, 23, who fled war-torn Sudan for Melbourne in 2004, created the resume alias "Daniel McClean" because he believed Australian employers were unwilling to give him a fair go under his real name.

Mr Lueth sent out hundreds of resumes for jobs he was qualified for, but only received callbacks on applications with the fake names.

Of the six applications with the fake name, he got five callbacks.

The Swinburne University biomedicine and commerce double degree student can speak three languages, has a favourable work history and volunteered for three years for an Australian aid organisation.

Despite meeting the job criteria for positions as a waiter, shop assistant, call centre worker and bank teller, Mr Lueth told mX he felt overlooked by employers.

"I did a test to see if it was an experience problem or something more," he said.

"I sent six resumes with my qualifications but used a different name, and I was surprised at how quickly I heard back from five of the companies for interview requests."

Mr Lueth could not say why the five calls did not lead to a job interview.

He said one employer only asked him two questions.

The Australian Human Rights Commission's Graeme Innes said there was a growing trend of immigrants adopting western names in the hope it would help them get hired.

"Unfortunately, there are elements of racism in our community and there are definitely people in Australia who make employment decisions on a racist bias," he said.

"We like to call ourselves a tolerant society, but this happens a lot more often than we think."

Since university timetable clashes forced Mr Lueth into the job hunt in 2009, he has relied on Centrelink payments and a Smith Family scholarship.

"Sometimes I just feel like giving up," he said.

"The Sudanese community is thankful for all the opportunities we're given in Australia, but we have something to make this nation defined by the strength of its diversity."

Smith Family Learning for Life team leader Anne Marmion said Lueth's efforts to secure a job had been "massive".

"When a young person has to change their name because they're discriminated against, it's an indication of bias and prejudice in our society and a fear of those who are different," she said.

related story in the U.K

A Muslim airport worker has accused airline Cathay Pacific of racism after he was refused a job interview – only to be offered one when he applied two days later using a fake white British-sounding name.

Algerian-born Salim Zakhrouf applied to Cathay Pacific for a job as a passenger services officer at Heathrow Airport.

Mr Zakhrouf, 38, who has lived in Britain since 1991 and is a UK citizen, was told by email he had not been selected for interview.

But applying 48 hours later as ‘Ian Woodhouse’ with an identical CV and home address, he was invited for an interview by the same personnel officer who had first refused him.

research shows that job applicants with non-white names face discrimination

in the U.S job applicants with "Black names" face discrimination

Undercover job hunters reveal huge race bias in Britain's workplaces

Civil servants created false identities to send CVs to hundreds of employers in sting to uncover discrimination

A government sting operation targeting hundreds of employers across Britain has uncovered widespread racial discrimination against workers with African and Asian names.

Researchers sent nearly 3,000 job applications under false identities in an attempt to discover if employers were discriminating against jobseekers with foreign names. Using names recognisably from three different communities – Nazia Mahmood, Mariam Namagembe and Alison Taylor – false identities were created with similar experience and qualifications. Every false applicant had British education and work histories.

They found that an applicant who appeared to be white would send nine applications before receiving a positive response of either an invitation to an interview or an encouraging telephone call. Minority candidates with the same qualifications and experience had to send 16 applications before receiving a similar response.


It also finds that public sector employers were less likely to have discriminated on the grounds of race than those in the private sector.

One reason for this discrepancy, according to the conclusion, is the use of standard application forms in the public sector which hide or disguise the ethnicity of an applicant. The research is also understood to have found that larger employers were less likely to discriminate than small employers

Resumes with English names more likely to be noticed

Shane Buckingham, News

Date: Saturday May. 23, 2009 3:22 PM ET

Canadians with English names have a greater chance of landing a job than those with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani names, says a new study.

In fact, after sending out thousands of resumés, the study found those with an English name like Jill Wilson and John Martin received 40 per cent more interview callbacks than the identical resumés with names like Sana Khan or Lei Li.

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