Sweden is usually lauded for its gender equality. The gender hole in unpaid (home)work is slim. Huge entry to inexpensive, state-subsidised daycare, along with the fitting for fogeys of younger kids to work half time, signifies that girls’s participation within the labour market is comparatively excessive. And parental go away insurance policies are beneficiant.
On the identical time, among the many 38 international locations within the Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Improvement, the employment hole between folks born in Sweden and immigrants is among the many widest. This impacts a big proportion of the Swedish inhabitants. One in 5 folks in Sweden had been born overseas and a fair bigger share of Swedes have no less than one foreign-born mum or dad.
To grasp this dichotomy, my colleagues and I checked out how discrimination within the Swedish labour market varies by gender, ethnicity and parenthood. I discovered that having a reputation deemed to sound international leads to candidates receiving far fewer responses than folks with usually Swedish-sounding names.
Correspondance audit of the labour market
To review hiring discrimination, you’ll be able to ask staff about their private, and subjective, experiences. Nevertheless, utilizing solely survey or register information to adequately measure discrimination throughout the labour market is troublesome, if not unattainable.
Another methodology, adopted by each by sociologists and economists, is what is named a correspondence audit. These days this principally includes researchers submitting written purposes from fictitious candidates to actual marketed job openings. The researchers then file the responses obtained from employers.
For our examine, we submitted 5,641 purposes in response to job advertisements on the Swedish Employment Company’s web site, between 2013 and 2020. In complete, our purposes lined as much as 20 occupations. These various when it comes to qualification ranges required, trade and sector, in addition to gender unfold and ethnic range.
We used frequent Swedish names to sign the bulk ethnicity (white Swedish). And we used frequent Slavic and Arabic names as foreign-sounding names – these symbolize among the largest foreign-born inhabitants teams, and visual ethnic minorities, in Sweden.
I discovered that candidates with international names obtain considerably fewer constructive responses to their job purposes than these with usually Swedish names. The distinction within the callback charges between candidates with Swedish and foreign-sounding names is nearly 15 proportion factors. In different phrases, if somebody with a Swedish-sounding identify despatched out 10 purposes, somebody with a foreign-sounding identify must ship out 15 to count on the identical variety of callbacks.
What’s extra, amongst candidates with international names, we discovered that males are contacted much less usually by employers than girls.
In a smaller examine on a subsample of about 2,100 purposes, we discovered no proof of systematic discrimination based mostly on gender or parenthood standing.
Discrimination throughout Europe
These outcomes broadly echo latest analysis from Europe. Whereas earlier findings on gender discrimination are considerably numerous – relying on the nation and occupational context – many latest European research don’t present discrimination towards girls normally. The truth is, there may be some proof of hiring discrimination in favour of girls.
Discrimination towards job candidates with foreign-sounding names, however, is nicely documented. There are additionally severalstudies, from the Nordic international locations (Denmark, Sweden, Finland), that present that males with foreign-sounding names face higher hiring discrimination than girls.
The difficulty is complicated. Different European research have variously not discovered ethnic discrimination to vary by gender, or have proven discrimination patterns to range – relying on the gender composition of the occupation and the backgrounds (ethnic or racial) of the candidates.
We centered on the early stage of the formal hiring course of, however not ultimate hiring choices. Discrimination can, in fact, additionally happen at each different section, be that when it comes to who will get promotions, coaching alternatives; who’s paid what wages and who’s let go.
These findings suggest that discrimination towards job candidates with foreign-sounding names contributes to ethnic inequality in Sweden, significantly for males. If males with names deemed to be international obtain fewer responses to job purposes, they’re in all probability much less possible than males with names deemed Swedish to finish up in an interview and to be employed.
The analysis has obtained funding from the Swedish Analysis Council for Well being, Working Life and Welfare (Forte).