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What's in a name?

Matt McAllister

Does your name determine how successful in business you are? Many UK professionals think so, according to new research, says Matt McAllister

In total, over one in ten (12%) of employees who took part in’s survey said they believed their name was holding them back from progressing in their careers.

Those with certain names, such as Wayne and Kayleigh, said they thought this had a negative effect on their job prospects. These respondents told researchers they believed traditional names were more beneficial to a person’s career.

The results of the study bore this out, with conventional names such as David, Sarah and Mark proving more likely to be in management positions than those with ‘modern’ names like Chantelle and Ryan.

“It really shouldn’t make a difference but when we meet someone new we do unconsciously categorise them by their name,” said spokesman Simon Jones. “Our study showed that happens in the workplace and may even hamper career prospects in certain professions.”

Jones added that traditional sectors such as law and insurance tend to value more conventional names, while sectors perceived as being more “youthful”, such as marketing or sales, seem to be more open-minded in accepting modern or unusual names.


  • Helen Mayson

    That Katie Hopkins interview was terrible wasn't it? Just outed herself as a bit of a snob, I think. Great link, by the way!

  • Anusha Everson

    I was outraged by recent comments made by Katie Hopkins (of The Apprentice). It seems more people think like her than not! I've just posted on a similar line about branding - company names and our personal identities. From what I notice, I agree that perceptions/stereotypes live on and a name can help or hinder an individual or business. Here is a link that may be of interest; the YouTube presentation is 3 minutes well spent!

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