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What’s in a name? To most people, not a lot; while for others it means a great deal. Take the name of Kayo Anosike. I think this is an agreeable name to be walking around with. It has a nice ring to it. But if it was your name, do you think it would get you a job? Perhaps not. This is the real name of a real woman called Kayo Anosike. And, in keeping it real, she applied for a great many jobs using this, her real name. As you do. But guess what? She didn’t get a single job she applied for, including those of the admin kind. Even though she was well educated and well able to do them. You may well wonder, why not? In case it has escaped your notice, Kayo Anosike doesn’t sound like your typical English name. It is African. That is why, Ms Anosike believes, she was not getting the jobs she applied for.

So, she decided to try a different tack to pop dem employers. She applied for jobs with a name change, calling herself Kayla Benjamin, a more British-sounding name. And guess what, she got the first job she applied for. I do not know about you, but I think it is disgustingly shameful that she or anyone should have to go to such lengths to get a job. Your name is your name. That’s who you are. That’s your identity. What is really sad about this story is that Ms Anosike is not alone. She is not the only person who has had to resort to this sort of deception to even get an interview. In a survey carried out by Nottx, the blind hiring platform, nearly a quarter of professional women in the UK have changed their non-white sounding names to traditionally British ones in order to get a job. This survey also reveals that most of this discrimination is found in the finance and IT sectors. Now, I am no Einstein, but why in the world would my name matter in the realm of finance and IT? What my mama and papa named me should have no bearing on whether I can add up, subtract, multiply or tell my mouse from my moose. What any and every employer should be concerned about are my skills and ability to do the job, and not my name.

To be continued…

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