- February is Black History Month.
- While the country continues to become racially diverse, many workers of colour experience discrimination based on their skin colour. A survey by Glassdoor found 43% of US employees have seen or experienced racism at work.
- Surveys from McKinsey and SAP have also pointed to lagging racial diversity and inclusion efforts at US companies.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The country’s minority population keeps growing, but racism continues to plague workplaces across the U.S.
A survey from job site Glassdoor found large portions of the American workforce experience discrimination at work. About three in five workers experienced discrimination based on their age, race, gender, or LGBTQ identity.
Many use Black History Month to celebrate equalizing treatment toward black Americans and other racial groups, but minorities say workplaces need to make more of an effort to address racism.
Americans experience more racial discrimination at work than their peers in France, the U.K. and Germany.
Glassdoor surveyed 5,241 adults in the US, UK, France, and Germany. American workers were more likely to experience discrimination than all other countries: 42% of American workers said they have experienced or seen racism at work, which was 12% higher than the overall average.
In turn, 55% of US workers say their company should do more to increase diversity and inclusion.
Glassdoor hoped the survey would be a “wake up call” for US employers to bulk up their diversity and inclusion programs. Many are already starting to, as Glassdoor found hiring for jobs related to D&I increased 30% since last year.
“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,” the company’s chief people officer Carina Cortez said in a statement.
American companies have a diversity problem
The report is just one sign US work is lagging for minority groups.
A report from Lean In and McKinsey, found men of colour make up 10% of corporate C-suite roles, while women of colour make up just 4%. White men and white women, meanwhile, respectively make up 68% and 18%.
White employees and workers of colour also have different views on how diversity programs at their companies fare. A survey by the Associated Press and tech giant SAP recently found over half of black and Hispanic workers considered diversity and inclusion programs before accepting a job, compared to just 27% of white employees.
Research says that institutional challenges, including conscious and unconscious bias, lead to racial minorities being passed up for promotions or big projects. In turn, about four in 10 workers think white and male employees have more advantages at their workplace compared to other groups, AP and SAP found.
Research shows diversity and inclusion programs make companies better as a whole. A report in the Harvard Business Review found that diverse companies are more innovative, objective, and careful. Mock jury experiments famously found that being in diverse groups actually made the white group members consider more evidence.
Workers who feel like they “belong” even stay with companies longer and are more productive, according to a survey from leadership development company BetterUp. Employees who felt “excluded,” meanwhile, were 25% less productive.
“Beyond dedicating specific people and roles to address diversity and inclusion, employers must do more,” said Cortez, the head of people at Glassdoor. “This can start by introducing employee resource groups, instituting company-wide speaker series that dive into real experiences, and educating employees on the resources available within and outside of a company.”
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