The 2019 Oxford research showed how white British job applicants received better responses than ethnic minority candidates with similar skills.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
Highlighting an Oxford University research on race-based inequalities in hiring is the best way to convince people that racism is a real problem, a new study found.
Reframing Race, a charity, presented several anti-racism arguments to close to 20,000 people in England and Scotland to understand which message moved the respondents the best.
It found that highlighting the outcome of Oxford’s 2019 research emerged as the “blockbuster” in making people agree that individuals’ abilities are not dependent on their race.
The Oxford research showed how white British job applicants received better responses than ethnic minority candidates with similar skills.
The university’s researchers filed fictitious applications for about 3,000 jobs, randomly varying the ethnicity, but showing identical qualifications, skills and work experience.
The outcome revealed that ethnic minority applicants had to make seven applications to receive a positive response compared to four for white Britons.
The Reframing Race study reported by the Guardian found naming Oxford University adds greater credibility to anti-racism arguments.
The university’s research “is an almost watertight piece of evidence about the existence of racism in hiring,” the report said, adding the experiment “catches racism red-handed”.
“Naming Oxford University gives the results further credibility. And, additionally, the way that the fake CV ‘sting’ is outlined gives the message the feel of a compelling story – with plot, characters and a powerful ending,” it said.
Reframing Race director Sanjiv Lingayah said, “If we want to end racism and entrench anti-racism it is critical to building public demand for deep and irreversible progress.”
He said the study showed there was still a long way to go.
“The data shows significant attachment to deep-seated and debunked myths about ‘race’. More positively, the findings show that the public can understand systemic racism and that they can be rallied around far-reaching anti-racist solutions,” he said.