There are currently two ethical debates attempting to assail racism in the workplace. The most socially agreeable proposition motions towards an emphasis on diversity hiring initiatives—complete with sensitivity training and corporate inclusion; while the other (staffed by a panoply of agendas) posits that inclusivity for inclusivity’s sake is often a subtler articulation of bigotry. I reckon a reasoned broad appraisal leans toward the former from the middle, but these kinds of matters are best-served case by case. However and wherever you lean, adverse statistics remain comfy right where they are.
According to a new Diversity and Inclusion study published by Glassdoor, just about a third of employed adults have experienced or witnessed racism in the workplace, “ explained Carina Cortez, Glassdoor’s chief people officer in the report. “This research presents a somewhat worrying picture of the experience employees are having with regards to discrimination at work. Creating a company culture that celebrates and respects people for their diverse backgrounds and experiences should be a top priority for all employers.”
Where is it the most prevalent?
The new report was derived from over 5,000 employed adults working out of the US the UK, France, and Germany. In response to a series of inquiries regarding their run-ins with discrimination in their firm, 31% of all of the respondents surveyed said that they were the victim of or observed a colleague fall victim to race-based biases, 25% declared the same but about in regards to sexual orientation, and the remaining (and highest portion) were or witness someone being discriminated against because of their gender. The authors add,
“Three-quarters (77%) of U.S. employees say their company employs a diverse workforce; though over half (55 percent) believe their company should do more to improve D&I. Over six in 10 (64%) U.S. employees say their company is investing more in D&I now than it has in years past”
The dissemination of these malpractices was further predicted by region, gender, and age. The US, for instance, evidenced the highest instances of racism, sexism, and bigotry toward members of the LGBTQ+community by a disarming 61%, followed by The United Kingdom (55%), France (43%), and Germany (37%). For whatever reason, men appeared to be subjected to racism more than their female coworkers (31% vs. 19%.) Similarly, Millennials were more than twice as likely to report instances of prejudice compared to workers over the age of 55. I suspect, the word “report” to be a key demarcation here, considering older generations have been independently associated with internalizing work-related stresses. Racism specifically, was also experienced or witnessed by 42% of millennial employees, which was considerably more often than was reported by Generation X and Baby Boomers.
We’re all guilty of keeping two sets of books to some degree, which is why reports like this one are so important to the development of a true egalitarian society. As we inch toward this aspiration, let’s try to be mindful of our individual roles in condensing the miles.
“While it’s troubling to see that a majority of people have experienced or witnessed discrimination at work, with more awareness comes more action to ensure greater inclusivity in the workplace,” concludes Cortez. “The results of this survey should be a wake-up call for workers and employers to foster a more inclusive culture to end any form of discrimination at work.”