Many Minority Employees Feel That Their Careers Are Hampered By Discrimination
It’s hard to believe that more than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, workers around the world still face discrimination in the workplace. In the United States, being able to have a safe workplace that is free of discrimination or harassment is guaranteed by federal law. It is certainly a reasonable expectation that everyone has an equal opportunity under the law. In spite of this, however, discrimination still occurs. In a recent article which appeared on the Personnel Today website, officials with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) indicated that one in five black and minority ethnic (BAME) employees surveyed believe that their careers had been hampered by discrimination in the workplace compared to just 11% of British workers who are white.
While only 10% of white workers in the UK felt that success was an important part of their lives, 25% of BAME workers felt more strongly about promotion and success on the job.
Of those participating in the UK survey, BAME employees were also more desirous of being able to see people of their same ethnic and racial background succeeding within the organizations where they worked and seeing diversity at senior levels of an organization would provide more of a sense of well-being and equality within the workplace.
For BAME respondents in the survey, nearly a fourth (23%) believes that having mentoring would also help them feel their workplace to be more diverse and secure for them as workers.
Both BAME and white workers felt that having training and development through management would help them with their personal career ambitions, and yet only 43% of workers responding in the survey felt that the manager who was their direct report had any discussions regarding training and development needs with them at all. This has left roughly a third of all respondents feeling as if their professional aspirations were not being met.
“Everyone has the right to bring their whole selves to work without fear of prejudice or victimization and employers have a duty to provide a workplace that delivers that,” says Dr. Jill Miller, diversity and inclusion adviser at the CIPD.
She finds that discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable and that, “Progress is crucial.” Dr. Miller further suggests that line managers and organizations on the whole need to help their workers develop necessary skills.
According to Baroness McGregor-Smith, who authored a report on race in the workplace published at the beginning of 2017, asserts that progress in this area has been “too slow and uneven.” Her solution for helping to lessen the pay gap is by publishing them to show where the inconsistencies lie in terms of pay and race. The CIPD echoed Baroness McGregor-Smith’s opinion on the matter and has also called for race pay gap reporting so that the UK Government and businesses can help improve these issues surrounding discrimination whether overt or unconscious in nature.
Discrimination is now front and center in the minds of many workers today. Increased awareness in the news and on social media has brought issues of harassment and discrimination into even greater scrutiny. Solving these issues in the workplace is complex and takes a careful, conscientious approach.
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