Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

A CV With No Name

This week on Twitter I saw a comment suggesting that ladies should not include their names on their CVs to reduce the chances of being discriminated against when applying for jobs.

Now I understand the sentiment behind this, as there have been experiments where the exact same CV has been submitted for a job but with either a male or a female name. While the male version was deemed good enough to interview the female version was discarded - and yet they were exactly the same.

Tweet says: It's very common advice not to include your name on your CV to reduce the change of bias.
'Common advice...' - from who?

However if I was to receive a CV without a name I would discard it straight away. Or realise it is a CV from a female, because the guys would never do this!

“What idiot” I would think, “would send me a CV without a name on? Do I want to work with someone who would miss such an obvious detail?”

And if you are applying for a design job I would expect to see your portfolio and I cannot help but think it would be weird not to have your name on that.

Much better surely to do something like early female authors used to do and just use initials, for instance instead of Penelope Rance, I would be P A Rance.

But really I think it should be up to companies to have this sort of process in place. CV’s should be collected by HR where names can be removed before passing on to the correct team for reviewing. Then once they have decided who to interview names can be put back on, after all once you walk in the room it is going to be pretty obvious if you are male or female.

But I do think this restricts the company recruiting too. I do not think I have worked anywhere in the last 10 years where whether you get an interview has just been based just on your CV. The CV is just the start with Google providing the rest. After all jobs now are less about your skill set, this can be learnt and improved on, and more about your team fit.

I do not have the answer to how to stop discrimination, but I am not sure just removing your name from your CV is the solution.

⟨⟨ Previous | Blog home | Next ⟩⟩

Contact Me

If you have any questions about my work please feel free to contact me.

Email me on or find me on Twitter or Linkedin.