Global employee experience agency has conducted a survey of more than 4,000 employees from 17 industries around the world, to find out how close employers really are to creating a fair and equitable environment for their staff.

The results were shocking – the team learned that one in four people have felt discriminated against at work. Of those, 86 per cent are looking for a new job. Analysing the reasons why unfair treatment had occurred more closely, the most common types of discrimination employees said they had encountered were as follows:

  • Gender – 39 per cent
  • Ethnicity – 25 per cent
  • Disability – 12 per cent
  • Age – 8 per cent
  • Religion – 5 per cent

Other types of discrimination included physical appearance (5 per cent) and sexuality (3 per cent). Clearly, there’s a significant group of workers who are having negative experiences in the workplace due to factors completely out of their control.

Out of all employees who are living with a disability, astonishingly over half (54 per cent) have felt discriminated against at work. The disparity is highlighted when compared to those who are not living with a disability, of which only 19 per cent have felt discriminated against. In fact, those living with a disability scored lower across every measure of employee experience included in the survey, including belonging, purpose and leadership.

There’s clear evidence that this issue is leading to lower levels of staff retention. 71 per cent of employees living with a disability are actively or casually looking for a new job, 20 per cent more than those not living with a disability (51 per cent).

When analysing intersectionality, the team found that 65 per cent of people who are racially minoritised and live with a disability have felt discriminated against at work. Of those, 83 per cent are looking for a new job.

Hattie Roche, Co-Managing Director and Strategy Chief at, commented: “Equality, diversity and inclusion is not a new priority – conversations around discrimination at work have been happening since the 60s. It’s sad to see so many employees are still experiencing discrimination in the workplace.

“Discrimination makes people feel like they don’t belong, that they aren’t valued. For reasons they cannot control,” said Roche. “Discrimination limits the opportunities someone has. Businesses are ignoring or losing talented people who have the potential to have a brilliant impact – culturally and organisationally. Organisations need to recognise the different perspectives and insight diverse talent brings, as valuable and design equitable work experiences. Everyone deserves a safe place to thrive, where they feel seen, heard and understood.

“The experiences of those living with a disability give us even more cause to pause and re-evaluate,” Roche continued. “Our research found that those living with a disability feel less confident about speaking up, and when they do, they don’t feel listened to. Their experience at work often has a negative impact on their overall physical and mental wellbeing. There’s an urgent need for businesses to not only look inward, but also reach out to external experts in ED&I. Experts who come from an authentic place of understanding, because they have lived experience of the discrimination others are facing.”

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