A Sydney woman says she was told she wouldn’t be suitable for a job in a creative agency because they already had enough “brown skin people”.
Surungi Emily Hohol was “livid and seriously irritated” when a senior employee from the agency Banjo allegedly told her she couldn’t be hired because they “already had two other Indian people” and didn’t want to “alarm” their clients.
Hohol, who is actually Sri Lankan, took to Facebook to express her fury at the comments.
“Yesterday I had an interview at a creative agency in Sydney and was told that due to being brown and Indian (though I am Sri Lankan) and have lived in Australia for 27 years I wouldn’t be suitable for the role as they already had two other Indian people,” she wrote in the post, which quickly spread across social media.
“Direct quote: ‘the client might be alarmed by having three brown skin people attend a meeting’. Seriously what is wrong with people?”
Banjo has since offered an “unreserved apology” for the incident, saying the comment had been “taken out of context”.
“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,” they wrote in a statement.
“Needless to say, the Banjo staff member is deeply upset by the incident, which occurred yesterday. 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.”
Banjo’s Managing Andrew Varasdi told Mumbrella the feedback from Hohol’s interview was otherwise positive and he would be meeting with her to offer his “empathy and support” and discuss future job opportunities at the agency.
Feature image: Facebook