"Anonymous" job applications come to Australia to stop discrimination

The state of Victoria will ensure names, ages and genders are removed from CVs...

"Anonymous" job applications come to Australia to stop discrimination

Picture by: Lauren Hurley / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Victorian government in Australia has today announced its plans to trial a "Recruit Smarter" programme to assess whether "blind applications" could be the way forward when employing people.

Running for 18 months, the programme will remove job hunters' names, ages and genders from applications in an effort to rid the process of any unconscious biases recruiters may have.

The government is currently looking into the digital tools available to make it a reality.

Major government organisations will take part, while Westpac, one of Australia's biggest banks, has signed up voluntarily.

Robin Scott, Victoria's Minister for Multicultural Affairs, has been behind the move since witnessing how difficult his wife of Chinese descent found the employment process until she changed her name from Shaojie to Jade.

Scott said in a statement:

"I believe in an Australia where someone’s age, background, postcode, gender or wealth doesn't determine your chance for a fair go.

"This initiative is the first of its kind in Australia, and an important step towards equality of opportunity in our workforce. We want employers from across the public and private sector to sign up to creating a level playing field for all Victorians".

According to a 2010 research paper from the Australian National University, Australians with Chinese-sounding names have to send out 68% more applications to get the same number of interviews as those with Anglo-Saxon names.

They were followed by those with Middle Eastern-sounding names, who had to send 64% more, those with indigenous names (35%) and Italian names (12%).