6 statistics to better understand the extent of discrimination in the workplace

Claire Schmidt, Founder and CEO of AllVoices

Despite laws prohibiting it, discrimination persists in the workplace, as we have seen in recent lawsuits against large corporations for discriminatory practices based on race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. other aspects. Anti-discrimination laws, or even seeing other companies making headlines and losing their brand image, should encourage companies to put measures in place to prevent these toxic practices. Yet it still continues.

However, not only are employees involving the law, but they are taking to public forums like social media to alert the public to what is happening behind closed doors. Power is shifting from employer to worker, so now is the time to end discrimination in the workplace.

The first step to ending discrimination in the workplace is knowing its extent. You might think this isn’t happening in your business, but it is more likely than not happening, according to recent statistics and surveys. In order to truly understand the pervasiveness of discrimination – and the failure to address it – here are some of the insights we found in our recent report on “The State of Discrimination in the Workplace”.

55% have experienced discrimination in their current workplace.

Discrimination should not be present in any company, but more than half (55%) of workers say they have experienced discrimination in their current company. 61% have also witnessed discrimination against other people, either in their current workplace or in a former one. We also found that although they primarily witnessed discrimination between managers and employees, they also saw discrimination occur between co-workers.

Other organizations find similar numbers. According to a new Glassdoor report, 61% of American employees have experienced or witnessed discrimination based on age, race, gender or sexual orientation. The Williams Institute found that 45.5% of LGBT workers experienced unfair treatment at work. Additionally, Gallup found that 24% of black employees and 24% of Hispanic employees in the United States experienced workplace discrimination in the past year.

80% experienced discrimination while working remotely.

Even though much of the business world has shifted to remote working over the past year, the discrimination didn’t end just because people were no longer working in an office. Of those who said they had experienced discrimination in their current workplace, 80% experienced discrimination on remote channels such as video conferencing, chat apps or telephone. This is likely due to a lack of policies regarding remote work, the desire to “express yourself more” in online spaces, and the fact that remote workspaces are often unsupervised.

Only 54% of respondents had their case fully resolved.

Are all these questions dealt with by these organisations? Not enough. We found that just over half (54%) of reported issues were fully resolved. This means that the other half of employees who reported their issue, but only saw it partially resolved, or not resolved at all, may still be subject to discriminatory behavior by a manager. or a colleague, which can have effects. According to Gallup, “those who report discrimination in the workplace are less likely to strongly agree that they have the opportunity to do what they do best, that their opinions matter, or that someone in work cares about them as a person”. This lack of resolve has consequences, as 43% say they have left a job in the past due to unresolved discrimination.

32% didn’t report because they weren’t sure it was a big enough issue.

We also found that not all issues are reported either. Those who did not report their experience of discrimination said they did not because they were not sure it was serious enough to report. This may be due to a workplace culture where employees may believe that certain microaggressions “don’t matter”, while any concerns should be reported.

Other reasons for not reporting include fear of retaliation – harvard business review notes that “retaliation is surprisingly common: 68% of sexual harassment allegations and 42% of LGBTQ+ discrimination allegations made at the EEOC also include accusations of employer retaliation” – and don’t believe the report would be addressed (which, if only 54% of issues are fully resolved, that means they have reason to believe so).

90% are more likely to report through anonymous channels.

What might encourage more reporting and lessen the fear or hesitation around it? 90% of our respondents said they would be more likely to report issues of discrimination if they had a truly anonymous channel to do so. This would allow those who do not want to risk retaliation to feel more comfortable sharing their concerns. This number being so high – almost all of those surveyed – means that there is a real reluctance to give open and honest feedback, if they know there is even the slightest chance that their feedback could be attributed to them.

85% believe their company has appropriate measures in place to prevent discrimination.

We found that 85% of workers believe their workplace has measures in place to prevent discrimination. However, as we have seen above, discrimination is still very common in the workplace and the issues are not fully addressed as they should be. Organizations may not solicit good feedback from employees, or may receive feedback but have no way to effectively manage that feedback or resolve it, or may have resources in place but do not sufficiently communicate to employees where they stand. find and how to use them.

Next steps

Now that you are aware of the depth of the problem, take action. Start listening to employees to hear their concerns and frustrations about how your organization handles discrimination. Take inventory of tools that work and implement new tools that will not only help generate more feedback, but help streamline internal processes to ensure issues are resolved. Also revamp your communication to make sure your employees know how to report and what to report.

Discrimination may be present, but it must not remain.

About the Author:

Claire Schmidt is the founder and CEO of AllVoices, an employee feedback management platform that allows anyone to anonymously report sexual harassment and workplace issues directly to company management. Prior to founding AllVoices, Claire served as Vice President of Technology and Innovation at 20th Century Fox. In 2010, she helped found and lead Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, a nonprofit that innovatively deploys technology to combat child sex trafficking. During her five years at Thorn, Claire led all programmatic work, spoke at the White House, the State Department, and Stanford University, and led a task force of more than 30 big tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft. Claire graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics in 2006. She served as Curator and Vice Curator of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Los Angeles, and in 2015 won a Mic50 Award for her work at Thorn.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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