A male consultant, called Kim, with bags of experience was surprised when he couldn’t land a job interview. One quick change to his CV – adding ‘Mr’ in front of his name – soon turned his luck around, though.
Despite having an exemplary CV and lots of experience, Kim O’Grady found himself incapable of getting a job. As more and more rejection letters trickled in, it dawned on Kim that his name could be the problem.
As he explains in a Tumblr post entitled ‘How I discovered Gender Discrimination’, Kim’s supposedly gender-neutral name often made people think he was female. He wondered whether the male-dominated industries (he specialised in engineering) he was applying to were discriminating against him on this basis and decided to add ‘Mr’ to his CV.
Almost instantly his luck changed, and he got an interview for the next job he applied for. More interviews followed, and he ended up working in a role with a substantially increased level of responsibility. All because he was now a man in the eyes of prospective employers.
Kim had also mentioned having a family in his CV. Numerous studies have shown that female caregivers are at a disadvantage when it comes to finding work and Kim began to realise that this information had probably further diminished his chances of being employed in a male-dominated industry.
Kim believes that gender discrimination still exists today, recounting the story of a female manager he worked for in a previous role. ‘She had worked her way up through the company over many years and was very good at her job. She was the example everyone used to show that it could be done, but that most women just didn’t want to. It’s embarrassing to think I once believed that. It’s even more incredible to think many people still do,’ he says.
Kim’s story may date back to the late 90s but it is all too easy to imagine this kind of gender discrimination occurring now, particularly in male-dominated industries like banking and law. Here’s hoping that one day soon candidates will be judged solely on their abilities and not on their sex.
What do you think of Kim’s experiences? Do you believe things are changing or is gender discrimination still an issue today? Let us know in the comment box below.