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Black, Muslim And Looking For Jobs In The West Midlands

The graduate jobs market is complicated and discouraging for Muslim women like me with a Somali first name and an Arabic surname. Not only am I competing with my qualifications and the prejudice against me based on where my university ranks in the league tables, I’m battling against a more sinister and questionably ‘unconscious’ bias because I’m black and Muslim.

Whilst 76% of students received a first or 2:1 degree during the 2017/18 academic year, only 65% of Muslim students achieved the same. In Advance HE’s analysis of data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the organisation said this “represents a 14.3 percentage point attainment gap between Muslim students and those with no religion or belief, larger than the BAME attainment gap of 13.2 percentage points”.

This “under-attainment of Muslim students” that the report speaks of has a direct impact on our entry into the labour market and our self-esteem. Sadly, it also means as a black Muslim undergraduate, I’m statistically less likely to soar as quickly after finishing university than another white British student.