‘Job candidates must wear masks’

Each week a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea – no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world.

This week, Maurice Fraser from the London School of Economics says it is time to level the playing field in the jobs market by making every applicant wear a mask for their interview.

“Well my idea for changing the world is quite simple and it can be justified on the grounds of justice and fairness. It is simply that when someone is interviewed for a job, for example, that they should have to conceal their appearance.

They would have to wear a mask, they would not be able to exploit their, let’s say, personal or their social, visual or sexual capital. They would have to be judged according to their merit. It would create a level playing field. It would ensure that the best person was recruited to a company, irrespective of whether that person was good looking or ugly as conventionally determined.

It would serve the interest both of fairness in respect of that person’s rights and it would ensure a level playing field therefore for that reason. But it would also ensure the most meritocratic outcome – the best person would be chosen for the job.”

You can listen to Maurice Fraser discuss his idea in more detail on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, where you can also download more sixty second ideas.

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