Residents with Arabic, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic backgrounds are the least hired individuals in the United Kingdom’s job market according to government website ethnic facts and figures.
Muslims are not for hire.
The lowest rate of employment based on ethnicity is for Pakistani and Bangladeshi with 56 employment percentage followed by “others” ( technical term used to refer to residents with Arabic background) with 63% employment rate. Both of the ethnic groups have a majority of a Muslim population. In comparison, the white ethnic group employment rate of 78%.
The government website figures also highlight the fact the employment based on ethnicity had steadily continued in similar patterns in the last few years and white British and other white groups have been favoured for employment and Muslims had the lowest numbers throughout.
10% gap in comparison with white people as 77% of White people were employed, compared with 65% of people from all other ethnic groups combined in 2020.
The YouGov website surveys results is another evidence of the inequality minorities faces. The chart illustrates that British ethnic minorities feel discriminated against in the job market had risen from 38% in August 2018 to 44% in August 2020. London residents with ethnic backgrounds had the biggest upscale in feeling discriminated against.
James Nazaroo, Professor of Sociology in the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) said that discrimination can be affiliated to ethnic, colour and religious backgrounds. The data gathered throughout the years still indicates evidence of prejudice against Muslims and other minorities.
Employment rates had changed on a surface level and the gap has narrowed because Muslims who work in part-time contracts are unable to receive the same offers as their white peers.
Muslims and women
Muslim women face more challenges in the job market based on their religious practices. “Racism takes many forms and the roots of racism lays in the ways people are demarcated in groups that are anti-valued” said Professor Nazaroo. He continued to say that the way responds to colour, religion and other factors are what can determine the racial and discriminatory actions towards minorities.
Prof. Nazaroo sees the legalisation system as outdated and to reduce disparity, the system needs to be changed. He said the political powers should take more effective actions to eliminate racial and ethnic injustice. The legislation should be more strict towards discrimination and the employers should be held accountable if their employees are discriminated against.
The Professor pointed out that disparity levels had reduced in size in the last 30 years due to part-time jobs and integration factors. He also emphasised that discrimination can be personalised to the individual based on several variables including physical appearance and skin colour. “context is everything. Where they are, and how to arrange of characteristics are jointly perceived” says Nazaroo.
The Professor pointed that Pakistani and Bangladeshi have been less likely to be hired because of their heritage background, religion or colour or maybe all of what was mentioned. Certain characteristics will be the deciding factor of whether to limit your chances in the job market or boost it.
Racism takes many forms and it is not limited to in-person discriminatory practices. Job applications with identical qualifications and only differ in the names of the applicants can be a determining factor to get the job. Typical British white last names receive more positive responses than applications with last names associated with ethnic minorities or what field experts refer to as the “gold standard”.
The Guardian newspaper conducted a field experiment in the private flat-share market in 2018. Requests were sent from “Muhammed” and “David” to near a thousand online advertisements for rooms across the UK. The newspaper found that for every 10 positive replies David received, Muhammed received only Eight.
Ammar Zafar, a student of Law and economics and aspiring solicitor. Gave his personal/ legal take on the matter. He said the way to tackle the deep-rooted issue is by perfecting the 2010 equality act. He said researchers have found a disparity in hired applicants depending on their names.
Last names with racial and ethnic last names are less likely to be employed, regardless of their academic qualifications and education. Ammar said the politicians and media need to take action and the negative stereotyping of Muslims. He said that all parts of society should work together in order to tackle this major issue.
“The change should start from the bottom up. He said explaining that local society plays a part in starting the change till it goes up to the high ranks in the legislative body. Everyone should take a stand and join the fight to stop discrimination he pointed out.”
Discrimination can have multiple layers, being a black Muslim or woman that wears a Hijab can lower the chances of employment in the job market. Low income and fewer opportunities to prosper are found in minorities rather than white peers and this can be easily found in different studies and surveys.
Amir who lived most of his life in the UK said he doesn’t need to give examples from studies or surveys, he confirmed that he faced it himself as a Muslim.
We talked to a Muslim man with middle-eastern ethnic origins who has a degree in computer science from City University choose to leave working for large cooperation to start his own business. He didn’t feel comfortable sharing his identity so we will call him “Mohamed”. He referred to himself as a successful entrepreneur, started his laboratory that manufactures hand sensitizers and E-liquids as well as a Vape shop and e-liquid brand of his own.
“it was almost impossible to move forward, “He said on why he left the cooperate job saying he felt stuck and he can’t grow or move to better positions. He said five years after being leaving cooperate work, it still puzzles him why companies he worked for before did not see his potentials. He said, “I’ve been quite successful. But what confuses me is why they don’t see it”.
He said that racism incidents accrue in his shop. People entering the shop and using derogatory racial slurs like shouting “Muslim bastards”. He says that facial hair or looking ethnically accurate introduces more hate as well.
When I asked him how to tackle this ongoing issue, he said that everyone should be treated equally no matter who they are. “Make the people understand that we are all the same. Judge us on the skill set rather than anything else” Amir think that change is possible and things looked better now than it looked before.
Hope for better co-existing is the common goal for everyone interviewed and hope is contiguous and can start a wave to a better future.