Job discrimination is rife all over the world – (Part 1)
Job discrimination during the hiring process is rampant all over the world. Here’s a chart which reveals just how much discrimination there is the world over when applying for a job…for reasons ranging from age and gender to race and religion.
Kelly Services, Inc. surveyed 70,000 job seekers in 28 countries (2006), and as they say discrimination includes “discrimination on the grounds of
colour, sex, religion, race, political opinion, age, medical record, sexual preference,
trade union activity, marital status, nationality, disability (physical, intellectual or
psychiatric), or impairment (including HIV/AIDS status).” One needs to keep in mind just a few thousand people were talked to in each country, and that these are people’s perceptions only…there will always a certain percentage of people who are disgruntled for no good reason.
Sweden heads the list! This may make it seem as if the stringent laws in developed countries are of no use..but I’m sure that people in a literate nation like Sweden would be far less tolerant of any sort discrimination and more likely to crib.
The causes of the job discrimination vary from country to country and depend on a range of complex socio-economic factors…but the reality is that a huge number of people all over the world do feel discriminated in some way or the other. Even assuming that only 50 percent of them are right in their assessment, even then it’s a sizeable percentage.
The Kelly study covered 2,000 employees in India and it shows that two out of three Indians believe that they have been discriminated against when applying for a job.
Age discrimination – felt by 16 percent of the respondents
Gender – 13 percent (more women complaining about this than men)
Race – 7 percent
Disability – 3 percent.
There was no information available on religion…but other studies have shown that there is such discrimination in India. I can’t help feeling though that most of these people who were discriminated against would have got the job if they ‘knew’ someone. Wonder what type of discrimination that’s called…could it perhaps be called discrimination due to no connections!? In India knowing the right person matters…and not always is the ‘known’ person chosen from two equally competent people.
But before I go on I must mention a small study (4,808 applications for 548 jobs advertised in English newspapers over 66 weeks starting October 2005 were analysed) which was undertaken by the University Grants Commission in conjunction with Princeton University. It reveals that two groups of people in India – Dalits and Muslims – face discrimination when it comes to getting jobs.
Amongst equally-qualified males from higher upper castes, Dalits and Muslims, India’s corporate sector called only 67 percent Dalits and 33 percent Muslims for the interviews, but all “upper caste” candidates were called.
The fact that applicants from certain groups were not even called for the interviews means negative stereotyping. If HR departments are not even going to see the candidate it reflects very poorly on these companies.
Though this was the only data I could get on this subject, I can say from personal observation that Muslims are discriminated against in corporate India.
Both caste and religion are closely tied with racial discrimination. India is not the only country in the world guilty of this practice. Here’s a brief overview of racial discrimination in the world.
Malaysia and Singapore figure high on the list…such problems invariably arise in multi-cultural societies but it’s surprising to see the high level of discrimination felt by those from Malaysia and Singapore. Recently this was in the news – Indian Malaysians protesting against discrimination.
India doesn’t score too well here either, but it scores better than the USA, New Zealand and the Netherlands. One keeps reading of racial and religious discrimination in France, but looks like France is way ahead of India.
Let me end with a positive note. India will soon have an Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) on the lines of the Human Rights Commission and this will be run by the Ministry of Minority Affairs. The specific purpose of this commission would be to “redress grievances relating to denial of opportunities on grounds of discrimination.”