New study: 3 in 5 have witnessed or experienced discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination is still a problem, but a new Glassdoor study reveals a nearly 50% increase in diversity and inclusion roles within the technology sector.

Glassdoor: 3 in 5 have witnessed or experienced discrimination at work

TechRepublic's Karen Roby talks with Sarah Stoddard of Glassdoor about a new report concerning diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The following is an edited transcript of their interview.

Sarah Stoddard: When we dive into the survey that Glassdoor did recently, three in five US employees have either witnessed or experienced discrimination in the workplace when it relates to their age, race, gender, or LGBTQ identity.

Karen Roby: Three in five, that's a pretty significant number.

Sarah Stoddard: Yeah, absolutely. The majority of employees within the workplace are experiencing some form of discrimination, which is discouraging. But at the same time, when we look into the jobs data related to roles in diversity and inclusion, we're actually seeing a 30% year-over-year increase in hiring for diversity and inclusion jobs. While we're seeing a prevalence of discrimination in the workplace, we also are seeing action taken by employers to address creating more inclusive workplaces for everyone.

SEE: Transgender employees in tech: Why this "progressive" industry has more work to do to achieve true gender inclusivity (TechRepublic cover story)

Karen Roby: And, that's the flip side, which is good. As it relates particularly to the tech industry, what are you finding?

Sarah Stoddard: Within the past year, we have about 800 open roles related to diversity and inclusion. And among that subset, about 12% of those or about 100 openings are within the technology industry, in particular. When we look at the year-over-year increase, we're actually seeing a 48% year-over-year increase within the technology space for hiring for roles related to diversity and inclusion, which again is an encouraging upward trend that we're hoping will continue.

Karen Roby: Definitely as we're seeing the tech giants, and so many tech companies now, and startups, and all of this coming onboard, they're going to need more and more people that can fill these roles.

Sarah Stoddard: Absolutely. And in addition to the roles dedicated to diversity and inclusion, everyone should be playing their part in ensuring that workplaces are inclusive. There are roles specifically in the HR space and recruiting space where they might not have the job title of diversity and inclusion analysts, but they're doing their part to make sure that companies are addressing, making sure that everyone feels like they can really bring their full selves to work.

Karen Roby: Did the study talk about how employees feel like it is being addressed, or do they feel like their companies are addressing it?

Sarah Stoddard: We actually found that a majority of US employees are actually wanting their companies to be doing more to address diversity and inclusion. While it's encouraging to see that hiring is up, there are so many other programs that employers can consider to address diversity and inclusion. Open dialogue is key in order to make sure that companies are hearing what their employees are experiencing, as well as putting channels and resources in place to help them address diversity and inclusion. That could take the form of employee resource groups, monthly discussions with the company, highlighting some of people's stories and their unique attributes, as well as adding to the channels and resources available to employees to report discrimination in the workplace.

Karen Roby: What can be done? There is certainly a lot of room for growth here.

Sarah Stoddard: Absolutely. I think again, having that open dialogue about what discrimination looks like and the fact that it's happening will help enact change. If we don't have awareness about what's going on, then it's likely that nothing's going to change. And so again, having those open conversations within your organization about what diversity looks like, what can be done about it, we hope in the long run will help make sure that employers and companies really are creating inclusive workplaces where everyone feels like they can bring their full selves to work.

It's so key for people to feel like they can be themselves at work. There are actually other studies that's claimed that more diversity and inclusion within the workplace actually promotes more creativity, more innovation, and so really in the long run it's a win-win for everybody.


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