Equal opportunities in careers

Students fear discrimination at work

Cologne, 30 June 2021. jobvalley, Germany's leading digital platform for flexible jobs for students and graduates, has been working together with the Department of Labour Economics at Maastricht University since 2012 to conduct studies on student life and work, along with future prospects for and concerns among students.

This special report from ‘Fachkraft 2030’ highlights the fear of discrimination on the job market faced by students. Around 12,000 students throughout Germany were surveyed in March and April 2021. 

The report highlights that many students expect to experience discrimination during their careers. 13 percent of the male respondents reported worrying about negative implications due to their gender. Whereas an astronomical 70 percent of their female counterparts stated having similar concerns – over 5 times more*. 

The differences highlighted in response to the matter of ethnic origin are equally drastic. 69.5% of non-German respondents worry about facing disadvantages in the working world due to their ethnic origin. Among the German respondents, this number sunk to 17%. 

Strong disparity can also be observed with regard to sexual orientation. While ‘only’ 36 percent of non-heterosexual participants worry about being at a disadvantage in the professional world due to their sexual orientation, a mere 4.6 percent of heterosexual participants have the same worry. Thus, inequality is perceived to be 8 times worse for LGBTQIA+ workers, and the imbalance is thereby the highest in this survey.

‘The results are quite simply shocking and show just how widespread concern is among students. The study highlights the critical importance of clear statements and action from companies to foster an open culture, equality and counter all forms of discrimination in the working world. Public moves towards a more open society are also crucial. Lighting the Allianz arena in rainbow colours, for instance, could have been such a statement. That being said, it was great to see the rest of the city illuminated with colours in solidarity. It’s important that we take a stand. We’ve still got a long way to go in Germany.’ – jobvalley CEO Eckhard Köhn

The matter of ethnic origin: The students who participated in the study were asked to disclose their ethnic origin. This ensured the survey did not address German citizenship, but instead focused on identifying discrimination trends based on appearance.

The term ethnic origin: The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency has the following to say in response to the question ‘What does ethnic origin mean?’: ‘Ethnic origin means that a person is considered to be part of a group of persons that form a, for instance, social, cultural or historic unit or are connected by a sense of community.’ [...] Just as with “race”, ethnic origin is a concept, not a fact. It tends to ascribe a greater set of shared traits and characteristics to a given group than they usually have. [...] Nor can a person’s nationality, religion or belief necessarily be inferred from their ethnic origin.’

cf.: https://www.antidiskriminierungsstelle.de/DE/ThemenUndForschung/Ethnische_Herkunft/fragen_antworten_rassismus/faq_rassismus_node.html, accessed on 14/06/2021

About jobvalley

HR tech company jobvalley operates Germany's largest digital platform with jobs for students and graduates. As a Workforce as a Service provider, jobvalley helps students and companies find their perfect match when it comes to flexible jobs. Combining personal support, an app for students and a well-designed client portal enables jobvalley to offer its clients and young professionals maximum flexibility, uncomplicated processes and high responsiveness. The Cologne-based company (jobvalley.com) founded in 2008 is represented at 24 offices situated throughout Germany, has over 300 in-house employees and hires up to 7,500 students each month.

jobvalley press contact:
Julia Menke
Im Mediapark 4a
50670 Cologne