Chinese job seekers fall victim to 'Zodiac discrimination'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 July, 2013, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 July, 2013, 5:01pm

If you are a recent college graduate in China and happen to be a “Virgo”, your chances of getting a job may be much less than your “Gemini” or “Pisces” competitors,  according to the Liaoning-based Bandao Morning News.

Xu Jingmin, a  college graduate and recent victim of such “zodiac discrimination", said she was disheartened after finding out she matched all the qualifications of a job opening at a travel agency except its requirement for the applicant’s zodiac sign.

“We are looking for Geminis, Libras, and Aquarius,” the ad allegedly said. This means Xu, who is a “Leo,” was disqualified.

Stereotypes are also held against  "Virgo" and "Libra" job seekers, who employers believe would be “picky” and jump ship sooner than their peers from other Zodiac signs, according to the report.

Sydney Wen, a manager working in finance industry in Chengdu, said her company has never turned down an applicant because of the person’s zodiac signs. “We have lots of Leo colleagues despite a belief that they are bad tempered,” Wen said.’

“It might be a criteria to consider, but I will not make my decisions based on this alone,” she said.

Terrence Wong, a Hong Kong public relations executive, said employers in Hong Kong - especially those who respect Fung Shui - often secretly refer to applicants’ Chinese zodiacs to decide whether they will get along with them in future.  “But in Hong Kong employers seldom care about employees’ Western zodiac signs,” Wong said.

Wu Tao, a Chengdu-based lawyer, said with the absence of national laws on  non-discrimination and equality at work, it's impossible for applicants to sue potential employers who might have treated them unfairly.

Western astrology is becoming increasingly popular in China in recent years. Websites and newspapers run their own astrology channel, publishing weekly predictions and advice . The trend has also spawned some western astrology experts.  “Naonao Witch,” a popular  zodiacs blogger, now posts daily to hundreds of thousands of loyal followers on Weibo, offering advice on astrology.