Diversity & Inclusion

Most Employees Have Experienced Workplace Discrimination

Most workers today have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace, according to Monster, which recently conducted a poll in honor of National Disability Independence Day.

Discrimination Is Rampant

The results of Monster’s poll may be shocking to some. For example, here are some of its key takeaways:

  • Only 9% of those polled say they haven’t experienced some form of discrimination at work.
  • In addition, 77% say they have witnessed an act of discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, when they do, 28% say they don’t feel comfortable reporting these incidents.
  • During the job application process, employees also report discrimination, with 50% saying they’ve experienced discrimination based on age (50%) or race (40%).

It’s also interesting to note that there’s a difference between the level of discrimination experienced during the job application and interview process and the level experienced in the workplace. For instance:

  • Discrimination based on race—40% during job application and interview; 38% on the job
  • Discrimination based on age—50% during job application and interview; 37% on the job
  • Discrimination based on weight or height—15% during job application and interview; 11% on the job

While most organizations have policies against discrimination, those policies aren’t enough.

Policies Aren’t Enough

Monster’s research indicates that while companies have policies against workplace discrimination, 45% of employees say they’re unaware of those policies. In addition, employees don’t think discrimination policies are as important as other types of policies like family and medical leave (81%), antiretaliation against whistleblowers (77%), and salary transparency (70%).

Train and Educate Employees

As Monster’s poll reveals, there’s an opportunity to better train and educate employees about the importance of antidiscrimination in the workplace, what discrimination looks like, employees’ roles in helping minimize discrimination, and steps to take to report discrimination they either experience or observe.

Start with a Baseline

Just because Monster’s poll indicates a high level of discrimination doesn’t mean that’s the case at your organization. It pays to poll your own employees to get a better understanding of your situation and to start with an accurate baseline to begin devising specific strategies and tactics.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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