One Country’s Bold Approach to End Discrimination in the College and Job Application Process

One Country’s Bold Approach to End Discrimination in the College and Job Application Process

The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron is working to ensure that individuals interested in seeking a college education or a job will not be discriminated against based on their name.

Earlier this week, Cameron announced that starting in 2017 college applications will be “name blind” in an effort to make sure that a person’s acceptance letter is based solely on whether or not they meet the academic criteria of the university. In addition to college applications being “name blind,” many companies including NHS, HSBC, Deloitte, KPMG and BBC have agreed to follow suit with their job application process.

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“If you’ve got the grades, the skills and the determination this government will ensure that you can succeed,” the Daily Mail reports Cameron saying.

Cameron, who has served as prime minister since 2010, highlighted research that shows universities making offers to 55% of white students, but only 23% of black students and added that unconscious bias is clearly a risk when looking at these numbers.

While the new application process will apply primarily to recent graduates, it is expected to affect more than 10 million workers in the UK and is only a small fraction of Cameron’s efforts to create a more equal work environment. Prior to his announcement of nameless college and job applications, Cameron announced that firms with more than 250 employees will be forced to make public their information on employee pay in order to ensure a gender pay gap doesn’t exist. He also would like to see more women on the boards of the top 350 FTSE companies. So far, the UK has already met a target of women filling one in four boardroom seats in FTSE 100 companies.