What’s in a name?

Written by Phoebe Steel

Making alterations to self-presentation is the reality for a lot of candidates within the world of technology

It shouldn’t matter what your name is, it should matter about your experience and skillset that are right for the role you are applying for, right?

Historic societal opinions still take charge over today’s modernised ways of life. In the present day, minorities are still condemned to changing aspects about them to fit within the acceptable mould that white people supposedly represent. Whether your name is Ramaswamy or Ram, Babatunde or Barry, it should not prohibit your opportunities to a prosperous future in the career path you chose. Your name is your identity, they should be celebrated, not a refusing factor that could stop you from getting a job you are fully qualified for.

A study carried out by Katherine DeCelles explores attempts made by racial minorities to ‘whiten’ their CV’s so that they would be more likely considered for a role. The findings of this study confirmed the ongoing racial discrimination that are still ongoing during the hiring process, finding those who did ‘whiten’ their resumes were two times more likely to get a call-back. You carry your name with you wherever you go, why should this stop when trying to be an employable candidate?

Shortening someone’s name to something you deem understandable, or ‘easy for you to say’ doesn’t mean you are openly accepting a diverse talent pool, you are simply altering their heritage and meaning to something that suits a white person, disregarding their own meaning.

Do you take the time to learn somebody’s name?

As an employer, taking time to understand and correct say somebody’s name can place you in much more respectable position. Whilst we don’t know every language or how to speak fluently, just acknowledging the correct way to say somebody names is an important effort in creating an inclusive workplace.

Would you want to work in an environment that won’t hire you because of your name?

Information Technology (IT) is one of India’s top three major industries. In the 90s and 2000s, India was the prime centre for western companies to outsource for IT and tech support. However, these westernised IT cooperation’s infiltrating the Indian workforce, comes with cheap labour and poor conditions.

The multi-faceted nature of the tech industry brings us a worldwide set of applicants. We see first-hand the amount of people who go by different first names, sometimes even surnames to make themselves appear more appealing. A large majority of profiles who tweak their ethnic identities are in the engineering and tech savvy roles. With the origin of these applicant names being area relevant we beg the question- does this stop some employers delving into the CV?

Due to the way of life people are presented within India gives them every right to try and find a better life here, but are we giving them the fair opportunity when they apply, or do we discard an application out of fear of pronouncing it wrong?

The root of creating a diverse talent pool means leaving nobody out. Whilst visas can limit the right to work in the UK that doesn’t mean we should shy away from giving people dream opportunities. Biases don’t define who we are as a community but they do continue to dampen on our own growth as society. Somebody’s name should never be the reason behind being quick to discard of a CV, nor should we be apprehensive to attempt to say somebody’s name on the phone. Asking somebody the correct way to pronounce their name is a healthy way to approach the beginning of a candidate relationship.

Here at Berkeley Square IT we flourish within our diversity, opening our talent pool to anybody who has the skillset we are looking for based off the job specification we are provided. No matter where you are from in the world, the IT industry wants to hear from you and here at BSQIT we strive to give everybody equal opportunities!

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