"I'm a black woman in banking. No one will hire me"

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According to this site, black women in banking are saturated in job offers. As a black woman in banking, I would like to say that this is absolutely not my experience. 

I've spent over 10 years working in finance, mostly for major banks. I work in a middle office role and after taking some time out earlier this year, I thought finding a new job would be easy. Six months later, I know this isn't the case. 

Banks say they want to hire diverse candidates, but what they say and what they do are very different. Instead of attracting attention in a positive way, I'm of the opinion that citing your gender and ethnicity as part of the application process is detrimental to getting hired. Banks claim to champion diversity and inclusion for politically correct reasons, but they don't follow through.

Despite the allegedly active hiring market, responses to my applications have been anemic at best. Remote working has made progress even more difficult - one well-known recruitment agency sent me an automated email requesting that I attend their office. When I arrived, after a long commute, the security guard told me no one had been there for a year. 

I apply for jobs online, but these automated responses are about as far as I seem to get. Occasionally I'm asked to complete  a 'Culture Fit ' assessment; once I was even given a math test which had no bearing whatsoever on the position for which I had applied.

As a minority candidate, networking especially can be hard. My attempts to strike up a casual conversation and have a virtual coffee /tea (not ask for a job)  with key individuals at banks I'd like to work for have met with limited success. Maybe I should take my photo off my profile? - Things might be different if people thought I was white.

Raya Gardner is a pseudonym

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

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