I’ve been looking for work for about two months now after the company I was working for lost a contract and announced it would have to make some of us redundant. So have my co-workers.
I’ve been advised of several job opportunities through two major recruiting companies I registered with.
Strangely, one of my co-workers who is also registered with them has not.
I have a university degree. I’m in my late 30s. My co-worker is too, being 2 years older than me. My co-worker has almost the same degree. I have 10 years experience in my field. My co-worker has 12. I have extensive training, experience and skills in my field. So does my co-worker, they have better experience than me really. I have a good work history, no complaints, nothing dodgy, no issues. The same with my co-worker. I was born in England. My co-worker was born in Australia. I had a security clearance, so did my co-worker. I have short, neatly cropped hair and am well presented. My co-worker has hair down past her shoulders and is reasonably presented. I wear ties and a suit. She wears dresses or skirts and a blouse. I’m straight. My co-worker doesn’t talk about her sexuality, but when prompted, once mentioned she is a lesbian, and does not hide that, but nor does she go out of her way to make it known. I have a nice Anglo Saxon name. My co-worker has a name that took me a week to learn to pronounce and longer to learn how to spell properly.
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I’ve been told I have the right image, attitude and cultural fit the recruiting companies are looking for. My co-worker has not heard those terms mentioned.
I have been put forward for five jobs. My co-worker has been put forward for none.
I read this article about skills being overlooked in favour of cultural fit.
It seems to me, that’s the new term these days for discrimination. Being hired for attitude and cultural fit over skills and experience? It does seem very discriminatory when I’m being put forward for jobs that I know my co-workers is better qualified for. Until I asked if she had been advised of those jobs I wasn’t even aware of this sort of thing. Though speaking to other co-workers with foreign sounding names, this is quite a common experience in Canberra. My Aboriginal co-worker said they don’t bother using the major recruiting companies anymore because they’ve never been put forward for a single job ever.
I’ve woken up to discrimination. My co-worker has experienced it for years.