The BBC reported that a number of UK companies are removing names from application forms to tackle discrimination against women and ethnic minorities.
This is on the back of research in several countries that suggested having a non-majority name was a big factor in whether companies called candidates for interview.
US researchers found that white applicants received ten applications for every succesful one, while black applicants had to send out fifteen. A French study found similar biais in the case of applicants with North African sounding names. Meanwhile, in the UK, a researcher at Durham University found that the success rate for applications to the renowned Russell Group of universities was significantly higher for white applicants than those from ethnic minorities. 36% of the latter were successful, compared to 55% of the former.
In light of such research, Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced that UCAS, the clearing centre for college applications will have name blind applications from 2017. Several organisations have already removed names from application forms, including: the civil service, BBC, NHS, local government, KPMG, HSBC, Deloitte and Virgin Money. Law firm, Clifford Chance, has gone one further and removed university names.
Several years ago, in the UK dates of birth were widely done away with following the introduction of age discrimination legislation.
Of course, other identifying information like addresses and schools will still be included in most cases, so there is still potential for candidates to be unfairly selected. However, this latest development is certainly a step in the right direction, towards appointing the best person for the job.