December 3, 2016
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Study Highlights Differences in Work Attitudes Between Whites and Minorities

PURCHASE, NY – – After reviewing over 800,000 employee responses in 40 companies at various points during the last 5 years (2005-2009), we learn that Minority employees are just as engaged at work as their White colleagues, according to the latest research by Sirota Survey Intelligence (www.sirota.com), specialists in attitude research.        

 

·         Whites in Management are 80% favorable on Engagement, while Minorities are at 81%

·         Whites in Non-Management are 76% favorable on Engagement, while Minorities are at 79%

 

“This data refutes a commonly held belief that Employee Engagement differs dramatically between Whites and Minorities.” said Douglas Klein, President of Sirota.  “However, differences do remain when other key work-related attitudes are assessed.”

 

For example, Black employees continue to perceive less Fairness in the workplace than all other ethnic minorities.   

 

·         Among Management employees, Blacks are 61% favorable on Fairness versus Whites (75%), Hispanics (74%), and Asians (68%)

·         Among Non-Management employees, Blacks are 59% favorable on Fairness versus Whites (66%), Hispanics (67%), and Asians (64%)

 

Again, among Managers, Blacks perceive the least Development Opportunities, although recognizing the same Advancement Opportunities. 

 

·         Blacks are 78% favorable on Developmental Opportunities versus Whites (84%), Hispanics (83%), and Asians (84%)

·         Blacks are 60% favorable on Advancement Opportunities versus Whites (61%), Hispanics (62%), and Asians (59%)

 

“There is rich data here,” continued Klein.  “The good news is that black managers—like white managers—feel they are promotable within their organizations. But black managers seem to be less satisfied with the training and developmental opportunities they are receiving. Over the years, Blacks have had to endure far more discrimination and unfairness than any other ethnic minority in America. Remember, the Civil Rights Act (specifically Title VII) and the EEOC were only established 45 years ago, and there are still many companies who are adhering only to the letter (vs. the spirit) of that law. All of the companies included in this study have diversity programs, yet minority representation in Management still varies considerably.”

 

While Asian Non-Management attitudes are quite similar to Whites (only varying a few points in either direction), Asian Management employees also perceive less Fairness (although their concern isn’t nearly as strong as Black employees). As stated above:

 

·         Among Management employees, Asians are 68% favorable on Fairness versus Whites (75%), Blacks (61%), and Hispanics (74%)

 

“Employee perceptions of fairness are complex. We’ve found that employees consider everything from pay and benefits to policies and procedures—as well as their day to day treatment—when deciding if they feel fairly treated at work,” said Klein. “It would be a mistake to conclude that how Asians experience unfairness would necessarily have to be the same as Blacks. My experience has shown that Asian employees often under report events like experienced unfairness and fight certain unjustified stereotypes of passivity and an ‘unwillingness to socialize with others’ that they feel are wholly unwarranted.”

 

Hispanic employees (both within Management and Non-Management) are typically the most engaged group, while Non-Management Hispanic employees are also most favorable regarding their Advancement Opportunity. For example:

 

·         Hispanics are 57% favorable on Advancement Opportunities versus Whites (49%), Blacks (53%), and Asians (53%)

 

“This is great news for Corporate America as Hispanics represent the fastest growing minority at work,” continued Klein. “While it may be true that the historical work opportunities for immigrants – and their progeny - are better in the United States, we need to make sure that the growing Hispanic segment is also being trained and prepared to succeed as knowledge workers (vs. their historically high representation in physically demanding jobs). The pride and optimism felt today could wane if they are left out.”

 

“Considering that workplace dynamics are complex, it is important to measure and monitor the attitudes of employees on an ongoing basis. Relying on overall measures (like Engagement) can mask important differences in work experiences across demographic groups. Whether corporate values and management practices are experienced uniformly by all employees or differ based on ethnicity can only be determined (and then addressed) through systematic employee assessment and planned action. A lot of help is out there for companies who seek it,” concluded Klein.

 

Recent Press Material from Sirota on Related Topics

High Potentials
: Press Release on Research and Actions to Take In A Down Economy
Engaging Managers Is Key To Weathering The Recession
Michael Meltzer's CSR Article Wins ASAE "Gold Circle" Award

 

About Sirota Survey Intelligence

Founded in 1972, Sirota Survey Intelligence (www.sirota.com) specializes in attitude research. Headquartered in Purchase, NY, Sirota has conducted thousands of attitude surveys around the world that have helped organizations build strong, productive relationships with their employees, customers, communities, opinion leaders, investors, shareholders, suppliers, and other publics. The major results of their surveys have been summarized in The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want (Wharton School Publishing www.enthusiasticemployee.com).

 

Appendix

 

Select Work Attitudes for Major Ethnic Groups (2005-2009)

 

 

Management (N=189,000)

 

Non-Management (N=635,000)

 % Favorable

White

Black

Hispanic

Asian

 

White

Black

Hispanic

Asian

Engagement

80

78

89*

77

 

76

78

83*

78

Development

84

78*

83

84

 

77

77

81

79

Fairness

75

61*

74

68*

 

66

59*

67

64

Advancement

61

60

62

59

 

49

53

57*

53

 

* Significantly different than Whites

 

MEDIA CONTACT: 
Bruce Segall
Director of Marketing, Sirota 
914-922-2515

bsegall@sirota.com  



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