Quarter of US tech workers perceive discrimination: survey

24 per cent said they had been discriminated against due to their race, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation


Reuters February 08, 2017
24 per cent said they had been discriminated against due to their race, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation. PHOTO: REUTERS

About a quarter of US workers in the technology sector, which has faced criticism for a lack of diversity, said they felt discrimination at their workplace in a survey released on Tuesday by job site Indeed.com.

The survey of 1,002 US tech sector workers, conducted in December, found that 24 per cent said they felt they had been discriminated against at their current companies due to their race, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation.

The national survey was conducted online by survey consulting firm Censuswide, which invited participants to opt in through an online newsletter. This was the first such survey by Indeed.

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Some 29 per cent of female respondents said they experienced discrimination compared with 21 per cent of men. Some 32 per cent of Asian and nonwhite employees said they were discriminated against, versus 22 per cent of white employees.

The survey did not provide details surrounding the nature of the discrimination.

"These results should be seen as a wake-up call to the industry that simply striving to hire diverse talent is not enough: culture and attitude need to be addressed," said Raj Mukherjee, senior vice president of product at Indeed.

Over the last three years Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and other major tech companies have released employee demographic data, adjusted recruiting strategies and offered training on unconscious bias.

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Mukherjee added that companies should make greater efforts to include current employees in its diversity initiative, since 57 per cent of respondents said they did not know what actions their company is taking to address the issue.

An additional 25 per cent did not believe their companies were taking any action.

"With so many people disengaged it's hard for real change to occur," said Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose Rainbow Push Coalition led a campaign in 2014 urging tech companies to release employee demographic data and diversify, in a statement.

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