Seventy-Five Per Cent Of Black Females Face Workplace Discrimination

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Seventy-Five Per Cent of Black Females Face Workplace Discrimination

The highly respected Fawcett Society and Runnymead Trust recently published the results of its joint report entitled ‘Broken Ladders: the myth of meritocracy for women of colour in the workplace.’ It discovered that seventy-five made the disturbing confession to the interviewers that they had been at the north face of adverse discriminatory conduct whilst in the workplace.

What Is Meritocracy?

The term ‘meritocracy’ has numerous meanings in several quarters. To some it defines a society, a system or organisation whereby members of the population are selected and promoted into roles based on merit and their capacity, capability and expertise to perform the job, which contrasts starkly with a system whereby success is not achieved on merit and is instead earned through the expenditure of status or financial contribution.

Is Meritocracy a Fantasy?

Whilst the definition of meritocracy sounds like a very noble cause, the Fawcett Society appear to strongly suggest this to be the case. The organisation feel so strongly about it that they have recently worked in close partnership with the Runnymead Trust to investigate the issue of the definition of the term ‘meritocracy’, the contrasting events faced by individuals in the workplace and expressly set out to listen to the views of females of black origin working in the workplace.

What Did The Joint Report Find?

The highly respected Fawcett Society and Runnymead Trust recently published the results of its joint report entitled ‘Broken Ladders: the myth of meritocracy for women of colour in the workplace. During their investigations which led to the report, they interviewed a substantial three thousand females of black origin and somewhat distressingly discovered that at all the stops along their individual professional pathways females of black origin appear to be in receipt of treatment which is so restrictive that they are perceptively left with feelings of having no other conceivable alternative available to them but to conceal large aspects of their characters from their employers.

More than sixty per cent replied confirming they had made some alterations to the ways they behaved whilst in the workplace, including but not limited to the:

  • way they arrange their hair whilst working.
  • type, style and origin of their meals in the work environment
  • conceal the level of their intelligence to fellow members of the workforce due to the perception that people liaise better with them if they act in this way and
  • manner they speak in terms of language, style and tone.

Was That All?

Far from being the end of the story, this important research also highlighted some eye-opening statistics all aspiring lawyers and those more experienced legal professionals need to be considering. The statistics shed light on the following trends:

  • about fifty per cent of females who emanate from black backgrounds had been exposed to bars to career progression such as being made to experience feelings of unsettlement about their ethnicity
  • an estimated forty per cent of women of white origin had altered parts of their external character
  • approximately thirty per cent of those who answered the interviewer’s questions claimed to have received racially abusive comments
  • around twenty per cent of the female respondents from a black background claimed to have made a variation to the name they are recognised by due in no small part to the behaviour they had experienced
  • living up to the perceived stereotypical, submissive and amenable behaviour

Businesses should be addressing the issues raised by this investigation or the issues are likely to get progressively worse.

Written By Adam Green

The Legists Content Team

ASSESSING FIRMS

THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES

[1] Churchill, Francis – ‘Two in three women of colour forced to hide their personality at work, poll finds’ – People Management – 25 May 2022 - Two in three women of colour forced to hide their personality at work, poll finds (peoplemanagement.co.uk)

[2] Fawcett – ‘Broken Ladders: the Myth of Meritocracy for women of colour in the workplace – Fawcett Society - Broken Ladders: The Myth of Meritocracy for Women of Colour in the Workplace | The Fawcett Society

[3] Mayne, Mahalia – Majority of employees are happy to share ethnicity data, poll finds – 24 May 2022 – People Management - Majority of employees are happy to share ethnicity data, poll finds (peoplemanagement.co.uk)

[4] Powell, Caitlin – MPs criticise the government for refusing to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting – People Management – 16 May 2022 - MPs criticise the government for refusing to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting (peoplemanagement.co.uk)

[5] Merriam Webster Dictionary – meritocracy - Meritocracy Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

[6] Cambridge Dictionary – meritocracy - MERITOCRACY | meaning, the definition in Cambridge English Dictionary

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