Poll Reveals Number of Americans Who Report Workplace Discrimination

December 8, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Gallup poll reveals that 15% of American workers have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace.

According to a news release, the poll found that the rate of those reporting discrimination at the workplace varies greatly by race and gender. Women are more than twice as likely to report that they have been discriminated against in the past year (22%) as are men (9%), Asians and black people are most likely to report experiences of discrimination (31% and 26%, respectively), while 18% of Hispanics and 12% of white people also report such incidents.

The difference in discrimination among men and women is found primarily among whites, with only 3% of white men, compared with 22% of white women, reporting such experiences. According to the release, black men and women report similar rates of discrimination (26% and 27%, respectively), as do Hispanic men and women (20% and 15%, respectively).

The two types of discrimination most frequently cited are based on gender (26%) and race/ethnicity (23%). Seventeen percent of those reporting incidents of discrimination mentioned age discrimination, 9% cited disability, 4% sexual orientation, and 4% religion.

The poll showed found that the work areas that are most susceptible to discrimination are promotion and pay, cited by 33% and 29%, respectively, of people reporting incidents. Thirteen percent of pollsters also cite discrimination in getting a job, and 11% mention the way they were treated at work.

The survey also included a seven-question index that measures employees’ evaluation of their companies’ efforts to provide diversity and to protect against employee discrimination.Among employees who rate their company’s diversity efforts in the upper third of all companies rated in the survey, 61% say they are extremely satisfied with their company. However, among employees who rate their company’s diversity efforts in the middle third or lower third, only 34% and 21%, respectively, are extremely satisfied with their company. Similarly, employees in companies that ranked highly on diversity efforts are much more likely to stay with their companies, and to recommend their companies to others, than are employees who give their companies lower ratings on diversity.

The Gallup Organization, Kaiser-Permanente, The Society for Human Resource Management, and United Parcel Service joined resources to document the perceived discrimination situation in the workplace today to mark the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Gallup conducted telephone interviews with 1,252 adults from March 7, 2005 to May 8, 2005.