Advice to jobseekers

I’ve learnt not to be deterred. Be self-affirming. You know within yourself what you’re capable of.

Advice to employers

Companies can tackle hiring discrimination by making applications anonymised, and taking away details such as dates and insitutions. There’s so many people that bring so many different things to the employment market that you’re automatically dismissing.

“My name is Soraya Adejare; I’m a resident of Hackney. My surname is very clearly Nigerian. I’ve seen people go, ‘Oh!’, as in, they were expecting someone else and then I turned up. In my mind I’m already thinking, ‘What perception of me did they have before I’d even come in?’

My personal belief is that all CVs should be anonymised, there should be nothing that gives a hint towards your age, where you’re educated, your ethnicity, your disability. That should not be included in a stand-alone application process. The year someone got their GCSEs in, the year they got their A-Levels in, that already leads to a barrier in terms of age discrimination. I think everyone is under financial strain so they’d rather have someone straight out of college who they can pay less, as opposed to somebody who’s been in the market for a while and who they’d probably have to pay a little bit more. But I’m here because I feel like I could bring something to this job! 

There used to be a way that you could work your way through certain routes for employment, but I think those are becoming more closed off for some people. Particularly if you’re not a graduate.

When I see the applications, “Graduates only”, I think to myself, “There’s so many people that bring so many different things to the employment market which you’re automatically dismissing”. In one fell swoop, you’ve just wiped out a whole load of people who would bring something to your job and you’re just not interested in even considering them. You decided that, because I haven’t been to university, I would be less effective.”