Sweden is usually lauded for its gender equality. The gender hole in unpaid (home)work is slim. Wide entry to inexpensive, state-subsidised daycare, along with the correct for fogeys of younger kids to work half time, implies that ladies’s participation within the labour market is comparatively excessive. And parental go away insurance policies are beneficiant.
At the identical time, among the many 38 international locations within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 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 good bigger share of Swedes have a minimum of one foreign-born guardian.
To perceive 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 overseas ends in candidates receiving far fewer responses than folks with usually Swedish-sounding names.
Correspondance audit of the labour market
To examine hiring discrimination, you’ll be able to ask staff about their private, and subjective, experiences. However, utilizing solely survey or register information to adequately measure discrimination throughout the labour market is tough, if not unattainable.
An different technique, adopted by each by sociologists and economists, is what is known as a correspondence audit. Nowadays this principally includes researchers submitting written purposes from fictitious candidates to actual marketed job openings. The researchers then file the responses acquired from employers.
For our examine, we submitted 5,641 purposes in response to job adverts on the Swedish Employment Agency’s web site, between 2013 and 2020. In whole, our purposes coated as much as 20 occupations. These various by way of 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 characterize a few of the largest foreign-born inhabitants teams, and visual ethnic minorities, in Sweden.
I discovered that candidates with overseas names obtain considerably fewer optimistic 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 sort of 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 anticipate the identical variety of callbacks.
What’s extra, amongst candidates with overseas names, we discovered that males are contacted much less typically by employers than ladies.
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. While earlier findings on gender discrimination are considerably various – relying on the nation and occupational context – many latest European research don’t present discrimination in opposition to ladies normally. In truth, there may be some proof of hiring discrimination in favour of girls.
Discrimination in opposition to job candidates with foreign-sounding names, then again, is nicely documented. There are additionally severalstudies, from the Nordic international locations (Denmark, Sweden, Finland), that present that males with foreign-sounding names face larger hiring discrimination than ladies.
The challenge is complicated. Other European research have variously not discovered ethnic discrimination to vary by gender, or have proven discrimination patterns to differ – relying on the gender composition of the occupation and the backgrounds (ethnic or racial) of the candidates.
We targeted on the early stage of the formal hiring course of, however not closing hiring selections. Discrimination can, after all, additionally happen at each different section, be that by way of who will get promotions, coaching alternatives; who’s paid what wages and who’s let go.
These findings indicate that discrimination in opposition to job candidates with foreign-sounding names contributes to ethnic inequality in Sweden, notably for males. If males with names deemed to be overseas 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 acquired funding from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte).