Every workplace has a certain hierarchy. There is a larger collection of staff at the bottom, than at the top. For most of us, our goal is to be promoted enough times to be at the very top of our respective field, where we are more likely to earn a better salary and do the work that truly interests us.
However, discrimination makes that impossible for a vast population. For instance, in England, Scotland and Wales, only 65% of all working-aged people of colour were employed in 2018, which is 12% less than the 77% of all working-aged white people. Unfortunately, this figure is not surprising in the slightest, because whether companies acknowledge it or not, workplace discrimination is still extremely present and problematic, and affects several perfectly qualified people.
Workplace discrimination affects various types of people for example disabled people who, in 2019, had an unemployment rate of 8.0 as opposed to the unemployment rate of 3.6 for persons with no disability- all aged 16-64.
Women in the U.K., however, reached their highest ever employment rate in 2017, at 78% of women aged 25-54. While this certainly is progress, it is by no means enough.
In the LGBTQIA+ community, only 65% of Trans women and 57% of Trans men had a paid job in 2017.
Furthermore, only 70% of employed LGBTQIA+ felt that they could be honest about their gender identity or sexual orientation with their senior coworkers, perhaps for fear of being fired without a cause. In which case, the worker has less than a 1% chance of winning an unfair dismissal court case.
There is no justifiable reason for hiring white, fully able, straight, cisgender, or male people above any other type of person, which meets the definition of discrimination.
Additionally, while these statistics may not look incredibly detrimental at a first glance, they do not take into account the fact that being employed does not guarantee a promotion.
People who are apart of the fore-mentioned groups are typically promoted later than their more privileged colleagues, or not at all. They are also far less likely to be paid as much. In 2020, for every $1.00 a man makes, the average woman makes $0.81. Below are the amounts for men.
Companies that are guilty of biased hiring and firing need to be held accountable and shown that not only is this entirely unacceptable, but it can and will be dealt with appropriately in a courtroom. On top of that, people in more privileged positions need to advocate for their coworkers who are unfairly treated or declined promotions.
After all, workplace discrimination is illegal- let’s treat it that way.