Candidate rejected by agency due to colour of skin

Candidate rejected by agency due to colour of skin

An ad agency has drawn international ire after a racially insensitive comment during a job interview left a candidate “livid”.

Sydney based ad agency Banjo Advertising has been forced to defend the conduct of their staff, after a Senior Executive told a Sri Lankan-born account director interviewing for a role that she would not get the job as they already had two other “Indian” staff members.

Surungi Emily Hohol took to Facebook to air her anger over the incident – reports.

“Direct quote: ‘The client might be alarmed by having three brown skin people attend a meeting’,” Hohol wrote on Facebook.

“Seriously what is wrong with people … I’m livid and seriously irritated by this.”

Banjo Chief Executive Andrew Varasdi maintains that the executive’s “light hearted” comment was misinterpreted by Hohol, who was in fact being strongly considered for the position.

The exec was not disciplined for the remarks but had been “counselled” and was “deeply upset by the incident”, Varasdi has since met with Hohol to discuss the incident.

“In the course of expanding the account management team at Banjo, an unfortunate misunderstanding has occurred during an interview with a candidate, for which Banjo would like to offer an unreserved apology,” Varasdi said in a statement.

“The senior staff member, who conducted what was a very positive interview, made a casual remark at the end of the interview, which was intended to set the person at ease. Unfortunately, it was taken out of context and has since gained some notoriety on social media.

“There has been a lot of media attention on the issue of equality — including race, gender and sexual orientation, and age — in recent times and we acknowledge that emotions can run high.

 “We couldn’t possibly deliver on our promise that our clients come first, if our own staff did not reflect the Australian community.

“We are extremely proud of the make up of our talented staff, which is reflective of the diversity of Australia. We hope that we will be judged on our record, and that all candidates who consider joining us at Banjo will do so too.”

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