Nearly half of ethnic minority workers say they’ve seen racism in their workplace, according to findings reported by Channel 4 News.
The survey was conducted by the union Prospect, which also found that a quarter of black and minority ethnic staff had been racially abused. The union says that too many minorities encounter racial barriers.
Of the people surveyed, 45% of people said they have witnessed overt racist behaviour in their workplace. About 24% of them who were abused in their workplace did not feel confident enough to report it.
Amongst those who witnessed overt racism in the workplace, there is some language which was used that some readers may find highly offensive.
“You’re black, do you carry a gun?” was amongst the language used to speak to a black employee. “Can you try and be little less black?” was another. Some even said they had been called a “C**n”, “P*ki”, “Curry muncher”.
Prospect’s findings also point to an economic inequality based on race. 46% of people were aware of white colleagues with less experience or expertise, being paid more.
51% of the people said they were aware of white colleagues with the same experience being promoted ahead of them, despite having similar levels of experience.
Christine Danniell, National Executive member from Prospect Union said: “If you are from a BME background, it shows that you are going to struggle to progress and that means your pay will be affected.
“You are more likely to get less pay or bonuses. You are not going to be allowed to lead on high profile projects which will get you a promotion; that will allow you to get to the senior management level.
“So, this impacts your pay, your pension, basically your career and how far your progress.”
When asked if this means that every black and brown person must work harder, Christine exclaimed: “It’s not about working harder; it’s about making sure that everybody is given an equal chance.”
The findings reveal that many do feel discriminated against and that proving discrimination is difficult, and many claims end up in the courts.