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Name-blind job applications could get more women into manufacturing

“Name-blind” recruitment schemes are a great step forward for equal opportunities in the workplace, and could have even wider reaching benefits for women of all backgrounds in typically “men’s” industries says Beatrice Bartlay, of specialist recruitment firm 2B Interface.

Bartlay, who is Managing Director and Founder of 2B Interface, said: “With some women and minority groups still facing discrimination in many professional environments, employers need to maintain their focus on skills above backgrounds during the hiring process. I welcome the approach to finding talent, because not only does it offer complete transparency for the candidate, but it encourages the employer to look a little closer at CVs.”

David Cameron announced this week plans to tackle the “unconscious bias” against job applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds, with a “name-blind” scheme to be implemented in HSBC, Deloitte, the BBC, the NHS and tertiary education. While this is a positive move to tackle biases against ethnic minority applicants, it has been claimed that it will also reduce discrimination against women at work, with a report from June 2015 showing that 57 per cent of women felt that a similar unconscious bias is the greatest barrier facing women in the workplace.

Bartlay commented: “’Name-blind’ application schemes have a huge potential to drastically reduce biases and predispositions in the workplace, of which there are a great deal, particularly in historically & lsquo;men’s’ industries such as manufacturing. With so many women facing discrimination on a daily basis, being passed over in favour of male colleagues regardless of competency, steps clearly need to be taken to tackle this problem head on. In typically male-dominated industries, such as the manufacturing industry, the removal of names completely in the run up to interviews could work to reduce the effect of biases towards women or ethnic minorities completely.

“At the end of the day, the hiring process ought to be based on skills and the ability to perform in a job role consistently and at a high standard. The fact that employers frequently allow their subconscious prejudgments to affect their choice in employees is utterly shameful. The steps taken by Mr Cameron with & lsquo;name-blind’ application schemes is a dramatic leap forward for equality in the workplace, but more needs to be done to eradicate professional biases completely.”

She concluded: “Take Boardroom quotas for example: I am increasingly unsure whether quotas – for any minority representation – are anything other than well-intentioned. In my experience in this industry, we are suffering a skills shortage and lack of female representation from the shop floor up. Perhaps offering & lsquo;name-blind’ application schemes, more investment for apprentices aimed at women and look at the root of the issue before setting quotas.”


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