One in four employees said they have felt held back in their careers due to discrimination in relation to either their ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age or gender, revealed in a new study by recruiter Barrington Hibbert Associates.
The research also found that 27 per cent of respondents agreed that diversity and inclusion in their workplace was at best an average priority while one in ten said they didn’t fit in at work, painting a concerning picture of the workplace across various industries including finance and legal as well as healthcare and education.
Half of respondents said that representation at senior level was important due to the fact it would make decision making more inclusive, similarly one in five do not feel represented by senior team leaders or senior levels, resulting in disappointment, exclusion or anger.
Concerns were also raised around “code switching” which is when ethnic minorities feel they cannot be themselves in their workplace resulting in changed behavior to fit in, while mental health issues and disabilities are said to be the biggest barrier to career progression.
Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer of FDM Group said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion must be high on the agenda, especially in industries such as tech where we are seeing major skills shortages. Stereotypes and bias are still evident within such industries, holding back the opportunity for growth, creativity and innovation.
“For groups that still experience barriers in the workplace, such as women, their potential is being held back and often, this discourages them from even entering the industry. Businesses must make a conscious effort to offer support and initiatives to improve their approach including training courses, flexible working initiatives and mentoring opportunities for all.”