Half of Construction Workers Have Witnessed Obvious Discrimination

Almost half of construction workers (49 percent) have witnessed instances of obvious discrimination at work with a further 43 percent witnessing unintentional discrimination. These are the findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report, which analysed the perspectives of over 38,000 employees and leaders from 21 countries around the world including 1,080 from the construction industry.

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 percent of construction workers have felt excluded from promotional opportunities at their organisation, with only 61 percent 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 from O.C. Tanner.

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’. From ensuring everyone is given a voice and leaders are taught how to lead with inclusion in mind, through to investing in the right technologies, inclusivity will only be fully achieved when it becomes an intentional priority.

With just 55 percent of construction workers stating that their organisation is more interested in understanding them than categorising them, and under half (48 percent) feeling that their opinions are fairly represented within their organisation’s leadership team, the research highlights that there’s still much to be done to build inclusivity into all aspects of the employee experience.

Danzig adds, “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.”