50% of construction workers have seen ‘obvious discrimination’

Only 61% of construction workers believe that everyone is on a level playing field when it comes to growing and developing their careers

Almost half of construction workers (49%) have witnessed instances of obvious discrimination at work with a further 43% witnessing unintentional discrimination, according to a new report from O.C. Tanner.

The 2022 Global Culture report analysed the perspectives of over 1,080 workers from the construction industry from around the world.

The research reveals that organisations are stifling growth and development opportunities for some employees through both blatant and unintentional means. The result is that 38% of construction workers have felt excluded from promotional opportunities at their organisation, with only 61% believing that everyone is on a level playing field when it comes to growing and developing their careers.

“Many organisations have diversity and inclusion high on their agendas, however with so many employees feeling discriminated against and excluded from furthering their careers, inclusivity efforts are clearly falling short”, says David Danzig, European Director, O.C. Tanner.

Different types of discrimination 

O.C. Tanner’s Culture Report advises that to achieve inclusivity, inclusion must be built into multiple aspects of the employee experience, rather than being seen as a separate ‘initiative’. 

With just 55% of construction workers stating that their organisation is more interested in understanding them than categorising them, and under half (48%) feeling that their opinions are fairly represented within their organisation’s leadership team, the research highlights the scale of the problem in construction. 

Danzig added that, “Leaders need to take a fresh look at their organisational cultures, and assess whether they’re fully inclusive, or whether their diversity and inclusion strategy is simply papering over the cracks. Only when many unique individuals are represented, respected, treated equally and integrated into everyday working life, can inclusivity efforts be viewed as truly working.”

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