Are workers quitting due to racism? Studies suggest a tipping point

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An article from

Dive Brief

Subtle racism and exclusion in the workplace are key reasons for BIPOC attrition, multiple studies show.

Published Aug. 30, 2023

Caroline Colvin

Reporter

The majority of transgender, genderqueer and non-binary talent surveyed by Savanta said they have experienced workplace discrimination.

supersizer via Getty Images

3 min

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Dive Brief:

An August 2023 DEI report from research firm Savanta underscores continued diversity, equity and inclusion-related tensions in the U.S. and parts of Europe. Notably, of the markets surveyed, the U.S. reported the highest rate of discrimination. Whereas 22% of U.K. respondents and a quarter of German survey takers said they had experienced discrimination, 33% of U.S. workers reported experiencing discrimination. The margin is small, however; about a third of French, Dutch and Swedish workers also reported discrimination.

Savanta’s data indicate that workplace discomfort is disproportionately experienced by LGBTQ+ workers, Black people, Indigenous people and workers of color. The majority of transgender, genderqueer and non-binary talent said they have experienced workplace discrimination. In the same vein, about half said they’ve been overlooked for a promotion or new role.

Likewise for BIPOC workers in the U.K. and U.S., 44% said they have faced discrimination in the workplace and 46% said they have been passed over for job or promotional opportunities due to their identity.

Dive Insight:

This report aligns with recent findings that indicate shifting employer attitudes toward DEI, but also how lack of C-suite buy-in can undercut long-term diverse hiring goals.

In a 2023 report, 45% of Black workers said they would switch jobs if it meant they could be part of a more inclusive workplace culture. Sanja Licina, an organizational psychologist and president of a firm who contributed to that research, called the findings “a wake-up call to any company that has or is pursuing a DEI program.”

The culture development expert added in a press release: “Chances are good that, despite even your best efforts, you’re not getting it fully right and that’s creating a flight risk for key employees.”

HR firm Buck released a report this summer that linked lackluster DEI efforts directly to worker attrition through the lens of benefits offerings. About a third of workers surveyed said their company lacked “benefits for diverse populations.” Sure enough, 35% of Black workers surveyed by Buck said they felt this way.

Buck’s researchers also found that a worker’s likelihood of wanting to leave their job is proportional to whether “they think diversity in cultures and backgrounds is not respected,” and DEI commitment is subpar.

Specifically, financial wellbeing and employer benefits therein were highlighted as opportunity for growth in the Buck report. While 72% of respondents said they want more work-life balance, 76% of Black workers, and 78% of both Asian employees and Hispanic and Latino employees reported that desire.

Overall, data indicate that proper care paid to BIPOC workers is a crucial factor in diverse talent retention.

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An article from. Dive Brief. Subtle racism and exclusion in the workplace are key reasons for BIPOC attrition, multiple studies show. Published Aug. 30, 2023. Caroline Colvin. Reporter. The majority of transgender, genderqueer and non-binary talent surveyed by Savanta said they have experienced workplace discrimination. supersizer via Getty Images. 3 min. feedback. Dive Brief: An August 2023 DEI report from research firm Savanta underscores continued diversity, equity and inclusion-related tensions in the U.S. and parts of Europe. Notably, of the markets surveyed, the U.S. reported the highest rate of discrimination. Whereas 22% of U.K. respondents and a quarter of German survey takers said they had experienced discrimination, 33% of U.S. workers reported experiencing discrimination. The margin is small, however; about a third of French, Dutch and Swedish workers also reported discrimination. Savanta’s data indicate that workplace discomfort is disproportionately experienced by LGBTQ+ workers, Black people, Indigenous people and workers of color. The majority of transgender, genderqueer and non-binary talent said they have experienced workplace discrimination. In the same vein, about half said they’ve been overlooked for a promotion or new role. Likewise for BIPOC workers in the U.K. and U.S., 44% said they have faced discrimination in the workplace and 46% said they have been passed over for job or promotional opportunities due to their identity. Dive Insight: This report aligns with recent findings that indicate shifting employer attitudes toward DEI, but also how lack of C-suite buy-in can undercut long-term diverse hiring goals. In a 2023 report, 45% of Black workers said they would switch jobs if it meant they could be part of a more inclusive workplace culture. Sanja Licina, an organizational psychologist and president of a firm who contributed to that research, called the findings “a wake-up call to any company that has or is pursuing a DEI program.” The culture development expert added in a press release: “Chances are good that, despite even your best efforts, you’re not getting it fully right and that’s creating a flight risk for key employees.” HR firm Buck released a report this summer that linked lackluster DEI efforts directly to worker attrition through the lens of benefits offerings. About a third of workers surveyed said their company lacked “benefits for diverse populations.” Sure enough, 35% of Black workers surveyed by Buck said they felt this way. Buck’s researchers also found that a worker’s likelihood of wanting to leave their job is proportional to whether “they think diversity in cultures and backgrounds is not respected,” and DEI commitment is subpar. Specifically, financial wellbeing and employer benefits therein were highlighted as opportunity for growth in the Buck report. While 72% of respondents said they want more work-life balance, 76% of Black workers, and 78% of both Asian employees and Hispanic and Latino employees reported that desire. Overall, data indicate that proper care paid to BIPOC workers is a crucial factor in diverse talent retention. post. share. tweet. print. email. Filed Under: Talent, Diversity & Inclusion.