Studies Reveal UK Minorities’ Perceptions of Discrimination at Work

Studies Reveal UK Minorities’ Perceptions of Discrimination at Work

A new survey of ethnic minority business leaders in the UK from the consultancy Green Park shows that racial discrimination remains a serious challenge in the British workplaces, while UK businesses are not making sufficient progress toward meeting diversity and inclusion goals. The survey’s headline findings include that 18 percent of these leaders have personally experienced workplace discrimination in the past two years and that 82 percent of them do not trust their organizations and believe that there is institutional prejudice against minorities in the UK, People Management’s Emily Burt reports:

Meanwhile, just 2 per cent of companies surveyed by Green Park reported that they were meeting their targets for ethnic minority board-level representation, while more than a tenth (13 per cent) said they had an ethnic diversity target but no strategy for meeting it. …

However, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of those surveyed felt most workplace prejudice was unconscious. In light of this, the researchers recommended that changes in attitudes towards institutional racism must come from the top and not just left to HR to “sort out”. But while 60 per cent of the surveyed ethnic minority leaders said they believed tackling institutional racism had moved up the organisational agenda in recent months, two-thirds of these respondents said workplace language around racism was emotive and made people uncomfortable.

Burt also points to a study published earlier in the year by the University of Manchester, which reviewed 25,000 incidents of racism in the workplace and came to the conclusion “that workplace racism was increasingly normalised,” with nearly 30 percent of surveyed employees saying they had “either witnessed or experienced racism from managers, colleagues, customers or suppliers.”

Meanwhile, the BBC reports on another new study conducted by the Trades Union Congress, which also found that more than one third of black or minority ethnic workers have experienced racism in the workplace:

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Survey: Mistreatment, Bullying Driving Tech Talent to Quit

Survey: Mistreatment, Bullying Driving Tech Talent to Quit

A survey commissioned by the Kapor Center for Social Impact and released last week looks into the reasons why employees in the US tech sector quit their jobs. Nicholas Cheng at SF Gate outlines the 2017 Tech Leavers Study’s findings, which include the startling figures that women are twice as likely to quit as men, while black and Latino employees are 3.5 times as likely to quit as their white or Asian colleagues:

The most common reason they gave for their departures was workplace mistreatment. … Of those surveyed, 37 percent said they left their jobs because they felt they were unfairly treated; 78 percent said they had experienced some form of unfair treatment; and 85 percent said they had witnessed ill treatment happening to someone else at work. Black and Latino employees, the study said, were more likely to leave due to unfair treatment at work than white or Asian colleagues.

“This study is one step forward in demonstrating that there is a problem across the tech industry,” said Allison Scott, the center’s chief research officer. “We’ve seen the anecdotes and stories written lately and what we found is that those are not one-off stories, these are experiences happening across the sector and it’s a driver for people to leave.”

Feelings of unfair treatment were by no means exclusive, however, to women and underrepresented minorities, as Bloomberg’s Ellen Huet points out:

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