PhotoThere are many things that can weigh against job-seekers, include stammering, according to a new study conducted in England and Wales.

Researchers studied 36 men aged 21 to 65 with a stammering condition and found that every one of them had been rejected by potential employers, sometimes in the very first interview.

Some of the men said the only jobs they could find were ones for which they were clearly over-qualified. 

"Many participants were told not only of their mismatch for the specifics of the job or the likelihood of a detrimental impact on customers, but also of the possible negative impact on team dynamics if they were appointed," said Dr. Clare Butler of Newcastle University Business School.

"Something more suitable"

One man in his 20s who applied for an administrative post described to her how his interviewer told him "to go and look for something more suitable. He said that office work was definitely not for me because I wouldn't be able to get on with people in the office because they work hard but they also have a laugh and I wouldn't be able to join in.

"He said I could do the job mostly. He said he'd have to warn the customers about me and that most would probably understand – but he said I should look for something more suitable. When I asked 'like what?' he said outside work like gardening or something where I was on my own. I mean, can you imagine how I felt?"

Even men who managed to find work said they still faced discrimination o the job. A civil servant in his mid-40s reported that his manager asked him to stay away from key partnership meetings because his speech "upset the flow of the meeting."

The study was published in Work, Employment and Society, published by the British Sociological Association and SAGE.


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