- Three in five U.S. workers have experienced or witnessed discrimination at work based on their race, gender, age or LGBTQ identity, according to new data from Glassdoor. The data also found that platform users are pessimistic about the progress employers are making in diversity and inclusion (D&I).
- Breaking down discrimination by category, the data showed ageism to be the most prevalent form of bias with 45% of respondents saying they had witnessed or experienced it. Discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation or gender identity followed close behind. More than half of American workers think their organization can do more to increase D&I.
- Employees agree that more work needs to be done, according to the study. More than half of workers surveyed agreed their employer should do more to improve diversity and inclusion efforts. Millennials and Gen Z particularly think more could be done at their companies. The hiring of D&I professionals is up 30% year-over-year, with approximately 810 openings in the U.S. to fill.
Bias and discrimination remain powerful forces in the workplace, studies continue to show — and it may not always be reflected in direct, obvious behavior. Of the 3,000 workers polled by Deloitte this year, 83% said they had experienced a form of microaggression, a subtle, sometimes unconscious, form of bias. To uphold antidiscrimination workplace policies, HR must listen to employees' complaints about all forms of discrimination, not just the overtly egregious ones. It is important to follow up with investigations, flag biases and abide by federal laws.
That age discrimination was slightly more prevalent may be a result of subtle discrimination against older workers and mature job applicants that often goes undetected. For example, while the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against older workers, job ads often reflect biased perceptions of aging through the use of words and phrases like "energetic" or "can work in a fast-paced environment" to describe the ideal candidate. HR should ensure job ads avoid language that discriminates against older workers or might deter older job seekers from applying for openings.
Workplace discrimination is also an area where requirements are shiftingThe U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing three cases to determine if the protected category of sex as defined by current civil rights laws includes sexual orientation and gender identity. But HR leaders who want to protect workers from discrimination don't have to wait for the court's decision; they can extend their anti-discrimination policies now to include LGBTQ workers, experts previously told HR Dive.