Workplace discrimination statistics have been in the spotlight during the past decade. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from employment discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, disability, or national origin.
Employers owning a company of 15 or more people aren’t allowed to use any of these categories as a reason to mistreat people, pay them less, fire them, or avoid hiring them.
Despite this Act’s seriousness, people worldwide are still discriminated against and harassed based on some of the categories specified above. In fact, racial and sexual orientation are among the most common drivers of discrimination.
Let’s take a look at some of the more severe discrimination types.
8 Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics That Might Make You Uncomfortable (Editor’s Choice)
- 40% of US women have faced gender-related discrimination in their careers
- 42% of US employees confirm they have faced or witnessed workplace racism
- In one-third of countries, women keep being harassed at work due to their religious clothing style
- Over 90% of employers prefer hiring a person who doesn’t look overweight
- 48 states have enforced equal pay laws, regardless of the employees’ gender
- Only 26 states see progress in hiring people with disabilities
- Disabled employees earn about $9,000 less annually than non-disabled employees
- Over 20% of employees have faced age-related discrimination in the workplace
Gender Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics
Gender discrimination in the workplace means that an employee or an applicant is treated differently or less politely because of their gender. That includes not being hired, being paid less or evaluated more harshly, being passed over for a promotion or training opportunities, and much more. Transgender people are the most vulnerable category when it comes to severe discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
1. 4 out of 10 women in the United States confirm they have faced discrimination at a certain point in their career because of their gender.
(Pew Research Center)
Statistics on discrimination in the workplace point out that 42% of working women in the US have experienced discrimination because of their gender. Sometimes they earn less than men despite doing the same job or aren’t given a chance for promotion and are being passed over for important assignments. On the other hand, 22% of men have experienced at least one of eight forms of gender discrimination at work.
2. Discrimination in the workplace statistics shows that EEOC has received more than 50,000 pregnancy discrimination claims in the last decade.
Women make up nearly 50% of the US workforce, and more than 85% of them will become mothers during their careers. It is alarming that pregnancy discrimination in the workplace continues to limit their opportunities for advancement. On top of that, many employers say it is necessary to ask if a woman has young children during the hiring process.
3. Pay discrimination stats confirm that 48 US states have enforced equal pay laws for employees of all genders.
Although all employers have to follow federal laws regarding employment discrimination, specific state laws can vary significantly depending on the region. For example, Alabama and Mississippi haven’t enforced laws yet, and Georgia’s law affects only businesses with 10 or more employees. Despite this, studies show that the situation with workplace discrimination and harassment hasn’t changed much.
4. Transgender discrimination in the workplace statistics show that nearly 25% out of 90% of discriminated transgender workers were told to use bathrooms not matching their gender identity.
Transgender people are also under the protection of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Despite this, they have reported several mistreatment issues, like harassment by coworkers, missed promotion opportunities, and experienced physical violence and sexual assault.
5. Employment discrimination cases show that 74% of Black men have experienced discrimination in the workplace.
(Pew Research Center)
Moreover, 14% of them have regularly experienced discrimination, while 60% experienced it occasionally. On the other hand, 9% of women reported regularly experiencing discrimination, while 59% of them were discriminated against once in a while. Discrimination is more common among Blacks with at least some college education; 81% have experienced it at least occasionally, while 13% experienced it regularly.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics
Racism in the workplace can be an uncomfortable subject for many. Even though 93% of white employees don’t think racial discrimination exists in their workplace, it has happened to their colleagues. Here are some statistics that will give you a better idea of how often and to whom racial discrimination is a severe workplace issue.
6. Employment statistics by race reveal that 75% of Black people were discriminated against in the workplace.
Moreover, 61% of Hispanic and 42% of White workers experienced discrimination at work. On top of that, Black and Hispanic employees get paid less than White workers, regardless of their education level. In 2019, Black employees with advanced degrees earned 82.4% of the payment of White workers with advanced degrees.
7. 42% of employees in the US have witnessed or experienced racism in the workplace.
For some individuals, racial harassment in the workplace is a daily occurrence. Situations like these could lead to a risk of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreover, it can have severe effects on the person’s self-esteem and well-being in general.
8. 25% of Black job applicants receive callbacks for whitened resumes.
(Harvard Business School)
Many people of color might feel the need to whiten their resumes, which means changing their names, modifying or erasing work experiences that might hint at the person representing a minority status, and similar.
In recent hiring discrimination statistics that included black job applicants, only 10% received callbacks for resumes with ethnic details. Regarding Asian applicants, 21% received callbacks for whitened resumes, whereas only 11.5% received callbacks for their real resumes.
9. In 2020, ethnic minorities had an unemployment rate of 12.9%.
(Equality and Human Rights Commission)
Moreover, work discrimination facts show that White people had a rate of only 6.3%. Black employees with a degree earned approximately 23.1% less than White people, while Black workers who left school with A-levels were usually paid 14.3% less than their White colleagues.
Religious Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics
Title VII also protects individuals from being discriminated against based on their religious views. Additionally, it protects employees or applicants from discrimination and harassment if they don’t belong to any religious group and proclaim themselves as atheists.
Recent employment discrimination cases show that religious discrimination also includes treating employees or applicants differently because their spouse or partner is involved in a particular religion, or due to their connection with a religious group. Employers must not force employees to participate or stop participating in any religious activity.
10. Muslims and atheists are more likely to be discriminated against in the US.
(University of Washington)
The US is a culturally diverse society, today much more than in the past. Therefore, the rate of change is happening very fast. Discrimination in the workplace statistics show Muslims often suffer prejudice at work, whether it is the hijab women wear or associating terrorism with the Muslim religion.
Atheists are often discriminated against because they don’t belong to a religious group, especially if most employees in the company or a boss are a part of one.
11. 82% of Muslims are subject to some discrimination.
(Pew Research Center)
Furthermore, occupational discrimination stats show that 63% of US adults say that being a Muslim may hurt someone’s chances for advancement at the workplace or in American society in general, while 31% say it can hurt their chances a lot.
12. US citizens believe that Muslims are two times more likely to be discriminated against and harassed at work than atheists, Jewish, and Mormons.
EEOC complaint statistics show that Muslims, Jews, and Mormons have faced much discrimination at work. Many got dismissed because of their religion. Others weren’t hired or given a chance to be promoted. Some even claim that they have received a lower wage because of their faith.
13. In 56 countries in the world, women get frequently harassed at work because of their religious clothing style.
(Pew Research Center)
Despite equal opportunities and high-level degrees, ethnic minority women, and those with a specific religious dress code, are often subject to discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Furthermore, they remain under-represented and disadvantaged and lose a chance to receive leadership positions.
14. The average settlement amount for EEOC claims on religious discrimination is around $40,000–$50,000.
(California Labor Law)
If some workplace discrimination case gets prolonged, it may cause an employee to file a lawsuit to seek justice. Seeking justice is an essential and worthy pursuit for people who have suffered a lot in the workplace.
Weight and Disability Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics
Research shows that weight and disability discrimination have a very negative impact on the targeted employees’ lives. However, there are still many discrimination and harassment cases in the workplace based on weight and disability. Let’s take a look at some statistics concerning the category mentioned above.
15. 93% of employers would rather hire a person who doesn’t appear overweight.
Weight discrimination in the workplace statistics shows that many employers wouldn’t hire an obese person or someone who appears to be overweight. Despite the negative effect weight discrimination can have on the lives of affected people, in some countries it is legal to discriminate against someone based on their weight.
16. Disabled employees earn about $9,000 less per year than non-disabled employees.
Over 60% of people with disabilities are of legal working age. However, they experience a much higher unemployment rate than non-disabled employees.
17. Disability discrimination accounts for 33.4 percent of filed cases.
EEOC employee lawsuit statistics show that it translates to 24,238 cases. The purpose of the Federal Law is to reduce discrimination against employees with disabilities. However, this is still a considerable problem and takes up a third of all workplace discrimination claims and complaints.
18. Nearly 26 US states see improvements in hiring people with disabilities.
Workplace discrimination statistics show that Arizona has seen the most significant job gains in the past couple of years. In fact, more than 17,000 people with disabilities have joined the state’s economy. On the other hand, California saw the most significant losses, with up to 21,000 employees with disabilities losing their jobs.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics
Age discrimination is illegal and people are protected by Federal Law. All employees, regardless of their age, should have fair and equal wages and benefits. It is against the law to lay off more senior employees, replace them with younger ones, or pay them a smaller wage. It is also illegal not to give an opportunity for promotion if a person is a few years before retirement. Let’s look at some age discrimination statistics.
19. 31% of Hispanic employees younger than 40 have experienced discrimination in the workplace.
On the other hand, Hispanic discrimination in the workplace statistics show that 70% of employees older than 40 experienced it. However, 83% of Hispanic workers who have experienced age discrimination say that it is widespread. Many of those who haven’t reported age discrimination say they are afraid they might lose their jobs if they do.
20. Age discrimination facts reveal that 36% of US residents feel that their age prevents them from finding a job.
According to EEOC, age remains one of the top five discrimination drivers. People often hear they are either too young or too old for the job. Moreover, some didn’t receive a promotion because they were shortly before retirement.
21. Approximately 21% of employees have experienced discrimination in the workplace because of their age.
One in five workers complains they have experienced age discrimination in the workplace. At the same time, one-quarter of workers fear losing their jobs once they reach 40.
Wrapping Up the Workplace Discrimination Statistics
It is illegal for employers to treat someone poorly and unfairly because of their age, gender identity, disability, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation. Mistreated and harassed employees should not be afraid to step up and make a claim against discrimination.
Therefore, it is crucial for such incidents to be isolated and brought attention to before they happen to somebody else. If you feel you have been discriminated against or mistreated at work or even know anybody in a similar situation, make sure you file a complaint and help them stand up for themselves.
People Also Ask
What is an example of unfair discrimination?
Unfair discrimination happens when a person is being treated differently than other categories of people at the workplace. For example, when a woman doesn’t get offered a promotion at work because she got pregnant and will have a maternity leave soon, it is considered discrimination.
Unfair discrimination is usually associated with age, disability, sexual and religious orientation, status as a parent, national origin, race, color, and gender. Such unpleasant situations usually occur while people are at school, work, or in a public place (such as a shopping mall, subway station, and similar).
What are the most common discrimination offenses?
The most common discrimination offenses at the office may include job refusal, denial of new training opportunities, transfers, and promotions due to gender, age, parental status, or sexual orientation. In some situations, people get unfairly dismissed, have their shifts cut down, and are excluded or ignored by coworkers.
Workplace discrimination is also when the management hands employees impossible tasks. They can also hide information from certain employees so that they can’t deliver their best performance.
How do you prove discrimination at work?
When an unpleasant discrimination situation happens at work, it is not enough to complain to your manager to take action against it. It is necessary to have evidence to prove it. First of all, the discriminated person must check if their problem is considered unfair discrimination.
Evidence can take several forms. For example, it includes testimony in the form of a statement taken from a witness who saw what happened. Materials, such as evaluations, handwritten notes by an employer, letters, emails, and memos can also be considered evidence.
What constitutes disability discrimination?
Workplace discrimination due to disability means that somebody is being treated differently because of their disability, perceived disability, or association with a disabled person. Treating a person differently because of their disability, no matter if it is visible, can be against the law and therefore punishable.
Examples of discrimination based on physical or mental disabilities are: harassing an employee, avoiding recruiting or firing them because of their disability, not giving them a promotion, or prohibiting them from further improving themselves by doing extra training.
Is victimization a type of discrimination?
According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, victimization is defined as an act of discrimination when a person gets badly treated because they have done a ‘protected act’. This includes making a complaint about discrimination and helping another person make it by providing evidence or information.
An example of victimization is when a boss shouts at an employee because they support another employee’s discrimination claim. According to workplace discrimination statistics, 22% of employees complain about workplace victimization each week.