Brummies beware – a whopping 76% of employers have discriminated against job applicants because of their accents, with candidates from Birmingham the worst hit.
A study by law firm and prolific survey producers Peninsula found that ‘accent discrimination’ is widespread and job seekers are becoming increasingly desperate to disguise their regional twangs.
The worst accents as voted for by 2,647 employers, according to the survey were:
- ‘London’ Cockney
There’s certainly an argument to be had that the Brummie accent is grating, but is it really enough to not give a job to someone? I’d certainly think about hiring Birmingham-born Cat Deeley.
Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula, called the whole issue “a grey area” as there is no law dealing with discrimination on the grounds of accent.
Astoundingly, almost two-thirds of the 1,638 employees surveyed claimed to have ‘hidden’ their accent in an interview. Quite how they would do this is beyond me, particularly during an hour or so of intense questioning by a potential employer.
How did they try and hide it? Were there scores of Geordies pretending to come from Surrey or Scousers giving it the full Essex boy treatment?
If the attempts at accents at Personnel Today towers are anything to go by, you would probably end up with someone from south London sounding like they came from Cardiff via New Delhi.
Have you got any examples of discrimination by accent in the workplace? Let us know by posting a comment or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org