“My ethnicity means I can’t get a senior job in the banking industry”

I am an Indian national living in the UK. I have considerable experience in the financial industry, and many recruiters and HR managers have informed me that my CV is very strong. However, hiring managers reject me over and over and over again.

I think it’s because of my ethnicity. When you are Black Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) you have to try ten times harder to get a new role in finance. In my experience, this is particularly the case in European banks. American banks often seem more open-minded, but European banks seem to prefer recruiting people with less experience and less education than me, as long as they are white.

I know people will not agree with this. There is a lot of noise about banks hiring more BAME candidates, but noise is everything. I have many talented and experienced BAME friends who are unable to find jobs like me and are suppressed by British-born hiring managers in London. Most of them don’t want to say anything about it.

Discrimination against people of my ethnicity worsens as you move up through the ranks. People in banking have a huge superiority complex; they don’t like to be led or trained by someone from another ethnicity. When I became a senior manager at a former employer, the team members started to move because they didn’t want to take orders from a BAME manager.

So there is a glass ceiling. The folks at BAME are okay with taking on junior and mid-level positions in the middle and back office of banks in London, but it is very difficult to progress beyond that. As a result, many people at BAME find themselves left out of the market and desperately looking for work in other industries instead. This must change.

Kamala Saraf is a pseudonym

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photo by India pariah at Unsplash


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