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One in five UK adults has faced workplace discrimination, international survey finds


A recent survey of 4,973 individuals across the US, UK, France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands has found that 22 per cent of UK employees have faced discrimination at work due to their identity. This figure is much higher for underrepresented groups such as those of Asian backgrounds and the LGBTQ+ community. Experts have urged HR professionals to create an environment where underrepresented people can ‘thrive and want to stay’, noting that organizations that value differences attract top talent, enhance engagement and boost reputation. Yet, despite many UK employers trying to improve on the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda, many are still not being as inclusive as they could be during the hiring process. HR has been urged to remove any biased language from job adverts and use anonymised applications and skill-based assessment tasks for selection.


How many UK adults have faced workplace discrimination according to a survey?
22 per cent of UK adults have faced workplace discrimination according to a survey.

What are the key groups that experience higher rates of discrimination in the workplace?
People with an Asian background and people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community experience higher rates of discrimination in the workplace.

What are the main areas of inequality still prevalent in the workplace?
Pay and access to opportunities are the main areas of inequality still prevalent in the workplace.

What role do HR professionals have to ensure underrepresented groups feel welcome and stay in an organisation?
HR professionals have to ensure that underrepresented social identities feel that theirs is an organisation that people want to join and thrive in – and because they thrive, stay.

How can HR ensure they are recruiting in an inclusive manner?
HR should remove any biased language from job adverts, use the tagline ‘happy to talk flexible working’ wherever possible, anonymise applications, use structured interviews and skill-based assessment tasks for selection, and collect high-quality data to measure inclusion outcomes.

AI Comments

👍 This article is a great reminder of the importance of creating an environment of inclusion and equality in the workplace. We can see from the data that there is still work to be done in order to create a better workplace for everyone.

👎 This article focuses too much on the negative aspects of workplace discrimination, and fails to recognize the progress that has been made in creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about workplace discrimination. A new survey found that 22% of UK adults have faced discrimination in the workplace, with that figure going up to 41% for people with an Asian background and 33% for people from the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, Black respondents were more likely to say they had been passed over for a promotion compared to the UK average.

Friend: Wow, that's pretty alarming. It really shows how far we have to go when it comes to workplace equality.

Me: Absolutely. The article also emphasizes the importance of HR professionals in building an environment where underrepresented people can ‘thrive and want to stay’. It's crucial for employers to take an active role in promoting diversity and inclusion. They need to ensure that job adverts are free of biased language, use name-blind CVs during selection, and have diverse interview panels.

Action items

Technical terms

Unfair treatment of a person or group based on their race, gender, age, religion, or other characteristics.
Not having a large enough presence or representation in a particular group or area.
An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning.
Cognitive Diversity
The range of different ways of thinking, perceiving, and interpreting the world.
The practice of including people from all backgrounds and perspectives in activities, conversations, and decision-making.
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
A set of principles and practices that promote fairness, respect, and equal opportunity for all people.
Name-Blind CVs
A type of CV that does not include the applicant’s name, in order to reduce the risk of unconscious bias in the recruitment process.
Structured Interviews
An interview process that follows a predetermined set of questions and criteria, in order to ensure fairness and consistency in the selection process.
Skill-Based Assessment Tasks
A type of assessment that tests a candidate’s knowledge and abilities in a particular area, rather than their overall suitability for the role.

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