Survey highlights need to tackle all forms of discrimination at work

A survey by Glassdoor shows large numbers having witnessed or experienced discrimination, including ageism, with young people more likely to report it.

Age Discrimination Age Bias

 

Over a third of UK employees have experienced or witnessed ageism in the workplace with younger people almost twice as likely to report it as older people, according to a new survey by job reviews website Glassdoor.

The survey of employees found that over half (55 percent) said they had witnessed or experienced racism/ageism/gender or LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace. Over a third (37 percent) have experienced or witnessed gender discrimination at work, 31 percent racism, a quarter (25 percent) discrimination with regards to sexual orientation/identity and 39 percent ageism.

Ageism was the most prevalent form of discrimination reported in the survey, with younger employees witnessing or experiencing it more than their older peers: almost half (48 percent) of millennials reported witnessing or experiencing ageism at work compared to a quarter of those aged 55 and above.

The online survey of over 5,000 employees, which was conducted in the US, UK, France and Germany and included  1,071 people from the UK, comes as Glassdoor jobs data shows that the number of D&I jobs in the UK have more than doubled compared to last year, suggesting employers realise there is a problem.

More than a third of employed adults (36 percent of women and 37 percent of men) have experienced or witnessed gender discrimination and well over a third (37 percent of women and 42 percent of men) have experienced or witnessed ageism. This suggests that discrimination in general is an issue for many UK workers, regardless of their gender.  However, there were more marked gender splits on other forms of discrimination. Men are more likely to have experienced or witnessed LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace than women (31 percent v 19 percent), and also more likely to have experienced or witnessed racism at work than women (36 percent v 25 percent).

The number of those surveyed who witnessed or experienced each of the measured forms of discrimination (gender, race, age, LGBTQ) decreased with age.

Differences across other forms of discrimination by age include:

  • Gender discrimination is witnessed or experienced by nearly half (47 percent) of millennial employees compared to just 17 percent of those aged 55+
  • Racism is witnessed or experienced by 42 percent of millennial employees compared to 12 percent of those aged 55+
  • LGBTQ discrimination is witnessed or experienced by 39 percent of millennial employees compared to just 9% of those age 55+

More than six in ten (62 percent) millennial employees believe their company should do more to increase diversity and inclusion, falling to less than half (44 percent) of employees aged 55+, demonstrating that the younger workforce may be the ones driving change. On average, over half (54 percent) of UK workers believe their companies should do more to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Three quarters say their company employs a diverse workforce, while over six in 10 (61 percent) say their company is investing more in diversity and inclusion now than it has in years past. Simultaneously, research from Glassdoor’s Economic Research team found that job openings for roles in the UK related to diversity and inclusion have increased by 106% in the UK over the last year.

“This research presents a somewhat worrying picture of the experience employees are having with regards to discrimination at work. Employers clearly recognise there is a problem based on their investment in diversity and inclusion (D&I) increasing through more intense hiring of specialists to focus solely on D&I,” said John Lamphiere, Vice President of EMEA at Glassdoor.

“Creating a company culture that celebrates and respects people for their diverse backgrounds and experiences should be a top priority for all employers. They must be willing and ready to take action to foster a workplace environment in which all people feel they belong.”

Recent research from Glassdoor Economic Research also revealed that a company’s mission and culture drives satisfaction more than salary with job seekers and employees increasingly wanting to work for companies whose values align with their own.



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