A Jill or a John more likely to get a job than a Khan or a Li in Canada

May 21st, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 21 (ANI): Job applicants having English names-such as Jill Wilson or John Martin-have a greater chance of being called for interviews than those having Indian, Pakistani or Chinese names, according to a study.

Lead author Philip Oreopoulos, of the University of British Columbia, said that Canadians and immigrants with non-English names suffered discrimination at the hands of employers, who favoured English names up to 40 percent more than those having similar resumes with names like Sana Khan or Lei Li.

The UBC Economics Professor said that the findings lent a helping hand in understanding why skilled immigrants, with university degrees and important work experience, tasted little success in the labour market.

Oreopoulos said: “The findings suggest that a distinct foreign-sounding name may be a significant disadvantage on the job market - even if you are a second- or third-generation citizen.”

He added: “If employers are engaging in name-based discrimination, they may be contravening the Human Rights Act. They may also be missing out on hiring the best person for the job.”

Oreopoulos further revealed that Canadian work experience was preferred to Canadian education.

He said: “This suggests policies that prioritize Canadian experience or help new immigrants find initial domestic work experience might significantly increase their employment chances.”

Oreopoulos is affiliated with National Bureau of Economic Research and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. (ANI)

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