Muslim women who wear headscarves face workplace discrimination in US: study

Sep 28, 2010

Professor Sonia Ghumman from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business has completed an intensive marketing research on the effects of Muslim women who wear hijabs (head scarves) in the U.S.

Ghumman's research examined the expectations that who wear hijabs have regarding their employment opportunities. "We surveyed 219 American Muslim women on their job seeking experience," said Ghumman. "The findings reveal that Hijabis are not only aware of their stigma of being Muslim, but also expect to be treated differently in the workplace as a result of this stigma."

The survey found 30 percent of women who wear hijabs were concerned about applying for work, 88 percent said they were not willing to take off their hijabs when applying for work, 63 percent said they were aware of incidences where women wearing hijabs were refused work, and 22 percent said they were personally denied work because of their attire.

Ghumman's research also cites several variables that may contribute to the lack of employment opportunities. For example, employers shy away from hiring Hijabis if the job requires high public contact such as a food server or salesperson, requires a certain kind of attire for health and safety reasons, or if the job is an executive/managerial position.

According to Ghumman, Muslim women wear the hijab as a religious requirement and expression of their Muslim identity. Yet, many Muslim women feel they are stereotyped as unprofessional, archaic, and even as a terrorist.

Unlike other religious groups who wear religious attire, Hijabis are increasingly subjected to discrimination in the workplace. According to a report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, 2003), there was a 153 percent increase in claims by Muslims after the 9/11 attack in New York City.

Explore further: New poll reveals what Americans fear most

Provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa

3.8 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Think before you travel, researcher says

Aug 13, 2010

Muslim countries are caught between developing their tourism industries and making sure their culture is not eroded in the process, a leading researcher from The University of Queensland says.

Why Americans believe Obama is a Muslim

Aug 31, 2010

There's something beyond plain old ignorance that motivates Americans to believe President Obama is a Muslim, according to a first-of-its-kind study of smear campaigns led by a Michigan State University psychologist.

Redefining sexual discrimination

Aug 05, 2010

verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey insulting, hostile and degrading attitudes to women - is just as distressing for women victims as sexual advances in the workplace. According to Emily Leskinen, Lilia Cortina, and ...

Recommended for you

New poll reveals what Americans fear most

14 hours ago

Chapman University has initiated the first comprehensive nationwide study on what strikes fear in Americans in the first of what is a planned annual study. According to the Chapman poll, the number one fear in America today ...

Study shows how texas campus police tackle stalking

14 hours ago

One out of every five female students experience stalking victimization during their college career, but many of those cases are not reported to police, according to a study by the Crime Victims' Institute ...

How large-scale technology projects affect knowledge

17 hours ago

What do an accelerator complex at Cern, a manufacturing center in 19th century Philadelphia and lotus cultivation during the Qing dynasty all have in common? All such activities generate knowledge and know-how. ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
3 / 5 (4) Sep 28, 2010
I wonder what a Christian's job prospects are like when wearing a cross in a Muslim nation.
jonnyboy
1 / 5 (2) Sep 28, 2010
you saved me from having to post a much more elaborate,long winded and non-PC comment, Thank you
arrr
1 / 5 (2) Sep 28, 2010
How many tax dollars have we invested in Dr. Ghumman's so-called career so far to create a new victim class?

Maybe I would have more sympathy if she studied the job and life prospects of Muslim women in, say, Muslim countries, regardless of whether they wear the not-exactly-required-or-ever-mentioned hijab.

Wearing the hijab in America sends a general message: I am going to be difficult, at best. Other overzealous expressions of faith or ethnocentrism are equally inappropriate, and will turn off most employers.

This is not science, folks.
MartindaleM
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
I think the majority of people in America are critical of other cultures, especially Muslims. Its closed-minded employer’s (and people in general) that are difficult. As for Christian’s working in Muslim countries: I am one of those people. I’m a teacher that was hired two years ago, from a job fair in America, to work at an international school in Egypt. In the two years that I have been with the school, I have never been discriminated against or asked to remove any religious emblems. I’m actually treated with more respect than my Egyptian co-workers who do wear a hijab.
In the school, French and German teachers are also employed and most of the Europeans actually regard Americans as being racist and ignorant to other cultures. Congratulations to the three posters above me, you confirmed their views of American’s with your ignorant comments.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
I wonder what a Christian's job prospects are like when wearing a cross in a Muslim nation.
This comment just shows that you don't have any idea about the cultural differences between different muslim countries.
Neither do you have any idea about the cultural differences between different christian countries.