Discrimination, Prejudice, and Harassment Are Top Workplace Problems for Employees, New Survey Finds

Nearly half of employees (46 percent) in a new survey by real estate data company Clever Real Estate say discrimination, prejudice, and harassment are problems at their workplace.

The new study on what makes employees unhappy entitled “Bad Bosses Are Destroying Employee Happiness: 2022 Data” found that Black employees were 19 percent more likely than white employees to identify discrimination as an issue. Black employees experience discrimination at higher rates than other racial groups. Take the pay gap as an example. Pay gaps are a problem for 35 percent of all employees, but Black staffers (26 percent) are twice as likely as white workers (13 percent) to report poor salaries.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Employees overall cited these issues in their workplace:

  • Pay gaps (35%)
  • Racism (33%)
  • Sexism (30%)
  • Weight discrimination (25%)
  • Homophobia (24%)
  • Ageism (22%)
  • Religious discrimination (22%)
  • Transphobia (20%)
  • Nepotism (20%)
  • Ableism (17%)

Employees of color and female workers are especially vulnerable to workplace discrimination due to these main issues, the survey found:

  • Pay gaps are a problem for 35% of all employees, but Black workers (26%) are twice as likely as white workers (13%) to report poor salaries. 
  • Sexism is a problem for 30% of all employees, but women are 17% more likely than men to say sexism is an issue at their workplace.

Black workers are 58 percent more likely than white workers to report that their workplace doesn’t value diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are also 31 percent more likely to say their workplace doesn’t have many opportunities for career advancement. Furthermore, Black Americans experience more microaggression than their white counterparts. This work environment makes it more challenging for Black employees to form workplace friendships and to network. In fact, Black workers are more than twice as likely (130 percent) to say are “absent” in their workplace, meaning their voice isn’t appreciated.

About 1 in 8 workers (13 percent) say discrimination isn’t a problem for their companies because they have a very homogenous workplace. But as the survey points out, “a homogenous workplace can actually be a sign of discriminatory recruiting and hiring practices.”

Here’s why workers said they were unhappy with their jobs:

  • The No. 1 reason employees are frustrated with their managers is because of unclear communication (31%), followed by micromanagement (27%) and favoritism of other employees (27%).
  • Nearly half of workers (46%) say discrimination, prejudice, and harassment is a problem at their workplace.
    • Employees cite pay gaps (35%), racism (33%), and sexism (30%) as the three most common issues.

While pay gaps exist among different genders, with women earning 80 cents to every dollar a man makes, the biggest difference is among Black women, who collect just 63 cents to the dollar white men earn.

The lack of diversity in the workplace proves not only affect staff morale but also productivity.

“No one wins when discrimination is a problem in the workplace. While employers could face expensive litigation costs, workers may experience negative impacts on their mental health and job satisfaction. That’s why nearly half of employees (45 percent) say a workplace that values diversity, equity, and inclusion is very important,” the survey states.

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