Black and South Asian women in the UK wait nearly two months longer than White colleagues to secure their first job, according to a new survey.

Black and South Asian women in the UK report taking two months longer to get a first job than white people.
A survey found that they took five months on average to find a job after leaving education.
A diversity expert told Insider the results showed the urgency of unconscious bias training.

Black and South Asian women typically waited nearly two months longer than white colleagues to secure their first job, a new survey has suggested.

The research, conducted by hiring platform Total Jobs and The Diversity Trust, found that on average Black women waited 5.1 months to secure their first role after leaving full-time education and South Asian women, 4.9 months. This compared to white women who typically waited 2.8 months and white men 3.4 months.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,006 UK women of Black and South Asian heritage between May 11 and 19. It also surveyed 2,000 UK workers, of whom 873 were white men and 884 were white women.

The survey also found that Black and South Asian women were more likely to have completed unpaid work experience or internships before landing their first job – 76% of them compared with 67% of white men and 64% of white women who had to do the same.

Some 18% of Black and South Asian women adapted their name on résumés, to improve their chances of getting a job. 

Tinashe Verhaeghe, a consultant at The Diversity Trust, told Insider that biases in interviews processes “can take the lead” when “left unmonitored.”

She emphasized that a lack of diversity in senior leadership positions, who tend to make up the bulk of recruitment panels, “makes that element of bias stronger.”

Unconscious bias training is important to overcoming this, Verhaeghe added.

She said: “If you don’t know that this is happening then you can’t ever start to rectify it.

“When it’s done well in terms of learning how to manage and mitigate it, it does then have an impact on an individual’s practice or even at a leadership level if they understand that biases play a part, they can put in place measures.”

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