In a survey recently carried out by The Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS), it was found that Malaysians of Malay and Indian ethnicities faced more challenges to secure job interviews compared to Mandarin-speaking ethnic Chinese candidates in the private sector.
According to the Malay Mail, Cent-GPS senior researcher Zaidel Baharuddin told the press that there was discrimination based on the candidates’ ethnicities, with Malay and Indian candidates facing more discrimination.
Women from both ethnic groups also reportedly faced a significant amount of discrimination during this study. Baharuddin was quoted as saying,
“So is there ethnic discrimination? The answer is yes but not just for the Malays, the Indians suffer the worst.”
The study, entitled, “Racism in Recruitment: Racial Bias For Entry Level Jobs“, was an experimental study in which 7 researchers posed as different applicants from Malay, Chinese, and Indian ethnic groups all with the same qualifications and criteria which deemed them ideal candidates for the job. All candidates also listed Mandarin as intermediate.
Results showed that from all 7 candidates, the Chinese female candidate received a callback rate of over 50 per cent and the Chinese male candidate received nearly 40 per cent. Meanwhile, the Indian female candidate and the Malay male candidate received just above 15 per cent. Two of the Malay female candidates, however, received a lower percentage than their male counterpart. Meanwhile, the Indian male candidate received a callback rate of less than 9 per cent.
Callback rates for the Malay female candidates were also interesting, as the candidate who was not wearing a hijab received a 3 per cent higher rate than the candidate who did wear a hijab, suggesting possible employer bias against hijab-wearing jobseekers.
On top of that, the Chinese female candidate only had to go through two interviews to get one callback while one of the Malay female candidates had to go through 13 and the Indian male candidate had to go through 27 interviews to get one callback.
Meanwhile, Zaidel Baharuddin added that ethnic discrimination was evident in this study and that government intervention is needed to address this issue and promote diversity at workplaces.
Earlier in January, ethnic discrimination was also highlighted in another study, showing that a large percentage of Malaysian Indians (46 per cent) also reported having faced discrimination while looking for a place to rent, while another 62 per cent has seen rental advertisements with specific racial requirements.
What are your thoughts on this latest study’s findings? Let us know in the comments below.
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