Around a quarter of employees have reported experiencing discrimination whilst at work, with ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ employees most afflicted by this.

Despite many companies putting more emphasis on diversity and inclusion policies, around one in four employees (23 per cent) have been victims of workplace discrimination.

However, this number doubles (49 per cent) when accounting for employees from a minority ethnic background and a similar number of LGBTQ+ staff (47 per cent) have also faced workplace discrimination.

A third (33 per cent) of workers with disabilities also have reported this unfavourable treatment.

The two most common forms of workplace discrimination were found to be bullying carried out by other colleagues and staff feeling their opinions are not valued.

Workers with disabilities were also the most likely to report being denied the same career opportunities as their colleagues.

Misty Gaither, Senior Director, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Indeed, stated these findings “should be the realisation to many employers that now is the time to clearly define and evolve the culture” and “no longer accept the status quo”.

However, the study further showed a crucial lack of understanding between employers and employees regarding how to effectively prevent discrimination.

Despite a quarter of employees reporting facing discrimination at work, close to four in five managers (79 per cent) said they are satisfied with their organisation’s approach to diversity, inclusion and wellbeing.

Many employees were also unaware of their company’s approach to diversity and inclusion with a quarter (25 per cent) reporting that their company has no plans to implement a diversity policy.

Workplaces are making good strides however – with many delivering unconscious bias training (24 per cent), mentorship programmes (24 per cent) and a dedicated diversity, inclusion and belonging lead (22 per cent).

Ms. Gaither continued to explain how companies can build upon this:

Education and awareness are the first steps in driving change so it is encouraging to see employers implement a range of policies, processes and initiatives to help move the needle forward.

There’s also optimism in the recent rise of inclusion specific roles across businesses. This momentum will need to continue for employers to truly evolve into psychologically safe organisations that are inclusive and everyone feels they belong. For organisations in the early phases of becoming more diverse and inclusive it’s ok to feel uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable and this is a fundamental shift in how businesses operate.

Trying new things often means feeling vulnerable but focusing on the culture helps to create an environment where all employees can thrive and your organisation will benefit in the long run.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.