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Discrimination Survey

December 5 2019 - A survey of 1700 employees by Trade Me Jobs found that 45% of New Zealand employees think that there is discrimination in their workplace and claim to have seen some form of prejudice in the last year.

According to Jeremy Wade, Head of Trade Me Jobs:

“Diversity in the workplace is vital for so many reasons. It's been proven to facilitate innovation, improve productivity and increase employee engagement.

“Everyone has the right to be treated equally and we were gutted to find that for many Kiwis, discrimination is still a problem in the workplace. One in four respondents told us they felt personally discriminated against at work this year, while 43 per cent had seen it happen to someone else.”

It seems that there has been no progress since last year's survey with even more New Zealanders believing that discrimination happens in their place this year - 40% in 2018 compared with 45% in 2019.

Strikingly, managers (73%) were pinpointed as the individuals most likely to be doing the discriminating, followed by fellow employees (19%).

Jeremy Wade commented:

“Everyone has the right to feel safe at work and employers, and senior management should be setting a high bar.

“We think it's important that employers are taking action to address this issue and create a more inclusive workplace for everyone. Employees agree, with 65 per cent of Kiwis saying more could be done to promote inclusiveness in their workplace.”

The survey found that the most common forms of prejudice were:

  • Age (23%)
  • Gender (22%)
  • Ethnicity (20%)

Jeremy Wade said:

“Seventy-one per cent of those surveyed said their age affects their chance of getting a job in New Zealand, and 88 per cent of respondents over 55 believe their age has a moderate or major impact on securing a job.

“New Zealand has an aging population and if we want to continue to grow productivity, some employers should consider opening their minds to the diverse thinking and experience that mature workers bring to the table.”

Apparently, one in four of those surveyed said they took no action when they had personally experienced discrimination at work and third of New Zealanders who witnessed a colleague being discriminated against did nothing about it. Men were less likely than women to take action after experiencing discrimination.

According to Jeremy Wade:

“Women who had personally experienced some form of prejudice in the workplace were more likely to speak up, with 75 per cent raising the incident with management, compared to 64 per cent of men.

“It's encouraging to see that both genders are more inclined to speak up when personally discriminated against. Last year just 55 per cent of women and 49 per cent of men spoke out after experiencing discrimination.

There were also some interesting findings on pay, according to Jeremy Wade:

“Employees under 25 are more likely to ask for a pay increase than any other age group, with 19 per cent of Kiwis under 25 saying they have asked for a pay increase in the last 12 months.

“On the other end of the spectrum, employees over 65 were the least likely to have the pay conversation with just 5 per cent claiming they've requested a pay rise in the last year.

“Men and women are both just as vocal about their pay packet, with 11 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men asking for a pay review in the last year.”

In conclusion, Jereny Wade said:

“We can all do more to promote diversity in the workplace and there are a range of initiatives which can help make a difference. Things like being considered with language that you use, encouraging others to contribute to the cultural diversity in their workplace or observing a range of cultural celebrations, these small steps can really help a business achieve a healthy workplace culture.

“The more employees feel valued, welcomed and included at work, the better the work environment becomes for everyone.”

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