Germany: Muslim women are discriminated against in the labor market

In Germany, the women with veils and Muslim-friendly names are highly unwelcomed among employers, according to a recent study.

Estimated read time: 2'
Ph. DR.

German employers are recognizably as reluctant to Muslim names as their French counterparts. According to a recent study by economist Doris Weichselbaumer, head of the Department of Women's Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Linz, Austria, Women of Turkish origin are discriminated against in the German labor market, said the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

A total of 1 500 fictional CVs was sent to German companies of any size and any degree of internationality. The comments made by the employers were then scrutinized. "The results clearly indicate discrimination - consciously or unconsciously - of women wearing headscarves and those of immigrant background", says the author in a note written for the Research Institute on the Future of Work. (IZA), specialized in labor economics. The postulants have all grown up in Germany and have hard skills.

In the eyes of employers, however, Turkish surnames arouse reluctance. Meryem Öztürk, a fictitious candidate, was invited to a job interview in 13.5% of the cases, compared to 18.8% for a woman named Sandra Bauer. The scarf can also be an obstacle. Thus, when the hair of Meryem Öztürk was covered with a veil on the photo of her CV, her rate of positive answers dropped to 4.2%, "despite the fact that researchers have opted for a modern scarf, leaving the face of the candidate clearly visible and only partially covering her neck", specify the authors.

different pictures that were used in the fictitious CVsdifferent pictures that were used in the fictitious CVs

"The problems of migrant women in the labor market are often attributed to a lower qualification", says IZA. In fact, despite their qualifications for posts with higher professional status, Muslim women are still relatively neglected in Germany, they point out.

"In the West, the focus is always on the situation of women in Muslim cultures, but we rarely worry about the discrimination of Muslim women by the Western society", says Doris Weichselbaumer. Given the current migratory flows, it considers it essential to reduce the difficulties that Muslim women candidates face when it comes to entering the German labor market.

In France, the situation of Muslim postulants is not better. They are 1.6 times less likely to be recalled by a future employer, compared to other candidates, recently demonstrated a study on anti-Muslims discrimination in France, published by the IZA. People from "Muslim Culture" are excluded from the world of work.