The-discrimination-debate – Are You Doing Enough?

Why weren’t you promoted? Was it your age? Your gender?

There are various reasons why employees aren’t promoted, but discrimination (on a number of bases) can to be a factor as to why a person is passed over for a promotion or treated a certain way at the office.

But on a positive note, European workers believe that discrimination in the workplace is on the decline (down 4% to 30%). This is according to ADP’s Workforce View in Europe 2019 report, which surveyed 10,585 workers across eight European countries.

Despite this perceived improvement, there have been several high-profile discrimination cases over the past year, with the spotlight firmly on issues of discrimination and similar issues following the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Do you know the discrimination pain points in your company?

Discrimination in any form is a problem, but age and gender are the biggest areas for concern. The UK experienced the highest reported incidents of discrimination in the report, with 38% of workers stating that over the last year they have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace.

The Workforce View in Europe 2019 report reveals that in Europe, age discrimination is the most common complaint, with 9% of workers claiming to have experienced this in the workplace. This is closely followed by gender discrimination, which 7% of workers have reported experiencing.

In the UK the number of workers who have experienced gender discrimination climbs to 9%, 2% higher than the report average. Perhaps unsurprisingly, gender discrimination still appears to be an issue more regularly reported and experienced by women, with 10% of women stating they have been affected, compared to 3% of men.

Furthermore, the report notes: “Younger employees are more likely to say they’ve suffered gender discrimination, perhaps due to greater awareness and changing attitudes to what constitutes discrimination.”

Is gender pay gap reporting the road to equality?

Closely linked to the issue of gender discrimination is the gender pay gap – another topic that’s made headlines over the past 12 months. Research reveals that in Europe, women are paid on average 16% less than men. To address this, some countries, including the UK and France, have introduced gender pay gap reporting legislation.

In the UK, reporting commenced in April 2018, with companies employing more than 250 employees obliged to submit gender pay gap reports to the government. However, it’s still too soon to see what effect (if any) this will have on gender pay disparities and rectifying the inequalities of the past.

And it looks like it won’t stop here. There’s growing support for similar legislation in other countries, or at the very least for companies to take the onus on themselves to identify, report and rectify their gender pay gap.

Your employees want to know about your company’s gender pay gap

More than a quarter of workers (27%) believe that there’s a need for gender pay gap reporting within their organisation. That’s a 5% increase over 2018, indicating that this is an issue that employees are becoming increasingly aware of. In the UK, 23% of workers believe that their company should implement gender pay gap reporting.

This call for greater gender equality and more transparency from companies is further emphasised by the fact that 60% of workers who believe that gender pay gap reporting should be introduced, say that they would consider finding a new job if they discovered that their company had an unfair gender pay gap. Among women alone, this figure rises to a staggering 72%.

Unfortunately, the road to a workplace free of discrimination and gender pay disparities is long. But with the right HR strategies in place, and a clear understanding of the situation within your company, you can help alleviate some of your employees’ discomfort and concerns around discrimination.

Do you want to find out more about what interests and drives workers in Europe?
Download the Workforce View in Europe 2019 report to find out more.

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