Discrimination in Job Application?

I am a Muslim, Woman, wearing scarf in my head, from Southeast Asian countries. It’s already a lot of stereotypes to handle.

But I have master degree, from NTU, and have intermediate Mandarin skill. I am good in programming, Python (Numpy, Pandas, Scikitlearn, etc.) or R. I am also experienced in marketing and data science/analysis.

I am applying for job in Taiwan. But, I have applied to nearly thousand of application, and no one calls. Of course, yes, I put my photos on my resume. All my friends have got the job (good job) already, even if they are bachelor and from the same country as mine.

What is wrong? Does Taiwanese have lot of stereotype about Muslim hijabi? Do they think I am less capable than Taiwanese or nonhijabi?

I don’t think we can answer that one for Taiwanese employers.
But it’s true that just by attaching a photo (or being told to attach one), that we will face discrimination ,positive or negative, by this.
Many employers here have very little experience in hiring foreigners or people who look different. They could discriminate for many reasons, too old being most common,but also looks, fat or thin, speak Taiwanese or not, sexual orientation , anything really.

How to deal with it? Are you willing to not wear in your photo and see if any difference?
Or just wait and see if things naturally improve ?
You know in Malaysia or Indonesia it can often be the reverse I guess.


Is your masters in programming? Does the marketing experience come with a degree?

If you feel comfortable posting about it, what country are you from? A good way to get in is to show strengths in enabling Taiwanese companies to sell to your country. I can ask a few people if I know any leads.

Not only that, it’s just easier in general to hire a local. They speak the same language, no permit paperwork, understand a similar culture etc… And you’re in a country that is FULL of people competent in tech.

It’s probably not that she is muslim, but that being a woman can be a detriment to finding coding jobs because we all know the stereotype of the woman trying to work on cars and being talked down to by men. Software development is extremely male dominated.


Chinese speaking , fluency, and being huaqiao…Taiwanese…Makes a big difference.

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Have you considered the networking approach? Taipei has a decent-sized Muslim community, with plenty of successful people in a variety of fields. Do you attend a local mosque? If you don’t, maybe you should. Lots of movers and shakers at Taipei Grand Mosque.


Programming :laughing:
Look at your average website or app here.

Yes and yes. Taiwanese are extremely prejudiced- you fall into two categories

  1. You are Southeast Asian (declining rate of discrimination as more educated people apply’ and employers are more desirous of reaching out to newly developing countries- also getting hit by declining birthrates).
  2. Prejudice against Muslims.

I don’t see this much in Taipei, but prejudice against Southeast Asians for sure.

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By wearing the hijab it identifies her as SEA pretty much straight away in locals eyes. Little difference.


Use your Chinese name more than English on the resume. Many Taiwanese and Chinese prefer to use my Chinese name. It makes people feel you are more like them I guess .Or easier to remember.

True. Not wearing the hijab would make a big difference.

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A lot of people here shy away from discomfort or possibly awkward or unusual stuff for them.

That is why I suggest not wearing the hijab in the resume but then when going to interview wear the hijab. They cannot just give up so easily and have to give you a chance then.

I mean the phenomenon of being discriminated against by surname or looks or sex is well known and researched.

No, in Math. But of course heavy programming course. I didn’t expect Taiwan is also still thinking software “thing” is male-dominated.

It’s not really that they ‘think’ this way. It’s just how it is worldwide.

Best advice I have is to play to the strengths of your discrimination. You will win more hearts and minds if they think they can use you to sell more to your country.

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May be it’s true. But that would make it weird not wearing Hijab in the resume and appear with “something different”. Straight away failing interview.

But then that will prove the discrimination.

It’s the game that will be played here and to an extent anywhere…
When I got hired in an international company I was interviewed by seven different managers across the globe.
.I know for a fact at least two disliked me and discriminated against me. They didn’t want to hire me. One even said it was weird I spoke Chinese to her since I’m a foreigner .
Another one insisted I spoke Chinese through the whole interview :sweat_smile:
Others seemed to be neutral. A few were enthusiastic. In the end I got the job because I convinced ENOUGH people that I was qualified.
It’s just how life works. Try and get your foot in the door first. Is it better that you can find a place that accepts you from the photo straight away…Of course !

Is it weird you go to the interview with the hijab even though you didn’t wear one before? Only for about two minutes until you talk about your skills for the job at hand. In any company with decent managers they will give you a chance to listen to you once you turn up for interview… Then who cares about the hijabs as long as you have some people enthusiastic to hire you…It’s also very good advice to say you could help on some south east Asian projects if necessary . Maybe your English and local language and knowledge could be super helpful .

Unfortunately, sometimes appearance still matters, but I don’t believe it is because you use hijab! In my case, I’m also working in the tech industry, I consider myself very good at what I do. I’m full of tattoos, literally full of tattoos that sometimes are even hard to hide. But in any interview, I always try my best to cover all of them, and also I check the company’s style, more conservative or not. So, after I get the job, I start to show my tattoos bit by bit if I see the company is more relaxed with it.

Another way is: Home office or remote work. I can assure you, you are not being rejected only because of your hijab, there might be something else, especially nowadays the filter of RESUMES is made by AI and not a human being, maybe some keywords are missing in your RESUME.

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Are you using 1111 and 104? @dea1234

Thank you for your encouraging comments. I’ll try to (again) fix my resumes.

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I am using 104 and LinkedIn only.

Definitely add 1111 to your roster for more leads.