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Public sector worst for workplace discrimination

The research found that almost a fifth of those questioned had experienced some form of discrimination in the course of their careers. Often this was one-off in nature, but in many cases it was ongoing. In almost half of these cases, the employee did not take the matter further – suggesting that workplaces still have a long way to go to becoming accepting places, despite significant improvements in recent years.
Unexpectedly, the public sector was found to be the worst offender. Teaching was also a profession in which a relatively large number of people have experienced discrimination, whereas banking and finance was found to be one of the more accepting professions.In terms of the types of discrimination experienced, age and gender were the two most common forms. Whilst older people (65+) experienced a relatively high rate of discrimination – with more than one in three reporting being treated differently on account of their age – some 50 per cent of young people aged 18–24 also reported age discrimination. This may be related to the competition for jobs and levels of previous experience. Perhaps unsurprisingly, women were subject to a much higher incidence of gender discrimination. Race/nationality and appearance were next, with sexual orientation providing the fewest cases.
Discrimination of all forms not only has an emotional cost on those involved and prevents them from securing satisfactory employment. There is also the issue that businesses and other organisations lose out, either because they pass people over, ignoring employees’ skills and abilities, or because employees leave due to stress and an unpleasant work culture. Nevertheless, only a minority of such cases are properly resolved.
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