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Five Live survey suggests ethnic minority applicants still discriminated against in UK job market

Category: Five Live
Date: 12.07.2004
Printable version

Racial discrimination is still a widespread experience for job applicants, a study by BBC Radio Five Live suggests.

The full results of the survey will be broadcast on Five Live from 6.00am, Monday 12 July (909 & 693 AM, digital and online).

Five Live mounted an undercover survey lasting ten months in which dummy CVs were sent out to a wide range of companies in response to recruitment advertisements.


For each vacancy, six applications were sent - one male and one female from each of three groups: White European, Asian Muslim and Black African.

Fifty companies looking for employees in a variety of fields were selected at random from newspaper situations vacant columns and recruitment websites.

Five Live produced CVs for six fictional candidates - Abu Olasemi, Fatima Khan, Jenny Hughes, John Andrews, Nasser Hanif and Yinka Olatande.

All the fictitious applicants were the same standard in terms of qualifications and experience but were written and presented differently to increase their authenticity to recruiters.

But while 23 per cent of the white candidates' applications were invited for interview, only 13 and 9 per cent respectively were successful from the Black African and Muslim candidates.

Background & methodology

The research was inspired by a story covered on Five Live's Up All Night programme which examined American research suggesting candidates with traditionally 'white' names received interview offers twice as often as those with traditionally 'black' names.

Five Live adapted the study to find out what the situation was in the UK, also introducing an Islamic dimension.

Fifty advertisements from newspapers and recruitment websites were selected with each company sent six CVs - two with Muslim names, two with Black African names and two with White European names.

Each advertisement was responded to with one male and one female applicant.

The station sought advice from personnel experts on what employers look for in CVs and covering letters, and ensured consistent standards in all the applications.

Additionally a wide range of careers, levels of seniority and geographical locations were chosen to try to present a national picture.

Candidates invited for interview did not attend.

Notes to Editors

The full results of the survey will be broadcast on Five Live from 6.00am on Monday 12 July (909 & 693 AM, digital and online).




Category: Five Live
Date: 12.07.2004
Printable version


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