People who don’t personally have to deal with workplace discrimination tend to think of it as a distant problem, but employment discrimination statistics remind us that the issue is all around us. 

Everyone should become familiar with the shocking numbers of today’s workplace discrimination. With nearly two-thirds of US employees witness or suffer discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, or sexual preference, the issue is anything but rare.

Let’s take a look at these statistics about employment discrimination and try to understand what they tell us about this disturbing problem that our society faces. 

Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Statistics (Editor’s Choice) 

  • Latinas, Native American, and black women earn 25% less than white men. 
  • The average settlement for disabled workers in the US who are being discriminated against is $125,000.
  • In comparison to 6% of men, 23% of women have been treated as incompetent.
  • 28% of male workers in the UK claim they have faced gender discrimination at work.
  • 47% of transgender employees have experienced an unfair job outcome due to their transgender status.
  • Just 10% of black women state that management listens to their workplace discrimination issues without condescension.
  • The percentage of men who experienced sexual harassment and discrimination increased in 18 countries between 2010 and 2015. 

Discrimination in the Workplace Statistics for 2021

1. Women of color earn 25% less than white men in the US. 

Black women, Native American women, and Latinas earn 25% less compared to white men. For every dollar a white employee earns, a woman of color earns $0.75. For each dollar a white man makes, Pacific Islander women earn $0.80, white women earn $0.81, and Asian women earn $0.95.

2. The average racial discrimination settlement amount is $40,000.

The amount of compensation varies depending on the case type, the state, and the size of the company in question. Out-of-court settlements typically entail lower amounts than what a court may award. Some states, like California, have a reputation for favoring the accusers in discrimination cases. And finally, the larger the defending company, the higher the settlement amount.

3. Gender discrimination in employment, according to statistics, is more prevalent among women: Compared to 6% of men, 23% of women have been treated as incompetent.

Women are nearly four times more likely to be treated as incompetent compared to men. 23% of women employees have been treated as not competent because of their gender. The same happened to 6% of male employees. 16% of women and 5% of men say that due to their gender, they have experienced repeated small slights at work. 

4. 4% of C-level executives are black women. 

Female discrimination at workplace statistics inform us that one-third of companies don’t have a single woman on their management team. 68% of C-level executives are white men, just 18% are white women, and 10% are men of color. Black women make only 4% of C-level executives. 

5. 28% of male workers in the UK say they have faced gender discrimination at work.

A survey conducted in 2019 in the United Kingdom shows that male workers report more frequently being victims of gender discrimination than their female colleagues. Compared to 23% of women, 28% of men say they have experienced discrimination based on gender. 

6. Race employment discrimination statistics reveal that management teams listen to white workers’ concerns about discrimination 50% more than they listen to black workers.

According to workplace diversity statistics, only 27% of black workers say that management listens to their workplace discrimination concerns without being defensive or blaming them for the situation. The percentage is 64% for white workers. Just 10% of black female workers state that management always listens to their workplace discrimination issues.

7. Wage discrimination statistics tell us that women earned 82.2% of what men earned in the second quarter of 2021.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 113.6 million full-time employees earning wages or a salary in the country. Median weekly earnings for women were $899, while median weekly earnings for men stood at $1,094 in Q2 2021.

8. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of men stating they had experienced sexual discrimination increased in 18 countries. 

Male discrimination statistics show that the percentage of men who experienced sexual harassment and discrimination increased in 18 countries between 2010 and 2015. Hungary was the only country with a higher rate of men being discriminated against compared to women.

9. The average settlement for disabled workers in the US who are being discriminated against is $125,000.

The average settlement for disability discrimination varies from $50,000 to $300,000, depending on the number of employees of the defending company. When it comes to the settlement amount, it always depends on whether the case reaches court, the employer’s history, and state jurisdiction. 

10. 82% of the workers who filed a workplace discrimination case in the last decade didn’t receive relief. 

Relief from workplace discrimination can mean financial compensation or providing punitive damages. Judging by employment discrimination statistics, 82% of the employees who filed a case for discrimination did not receive relief.

11. 5% of first-generation male migrants in the European Union experience workplace discrimination based on their religion.

This number is significantly higher than the percentage of second-generation male migrants who experience the same type of discrimination (2%). For women, the difference between first-generation and second-generation was not recorded (approximately 2% in each category).

LGBT Employment Discrimination Statistics

In the United States, an estimated 4.5% of the population, or 11 million people, identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ workers face a lack of legal protection due to the fact that, in the US, federal legislation doesn’t specifically ban discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. While some states have state laws that prohibit such discrimination directly, such as California, others don’t have specific laws that protect LGBTQ workers.

12. Nearly half (46%) of US LGBTQ employees are not open about their sexual orientation in their workplace.

According to workplace discrimination statistics, 46% of LGBTQ employees state that they are closeted at work. Up to 20% of LGBTQ employees stated they were told or had coworkers say they should dress and behave in a more feminine or masculine way.

13. 47% of transgender employees have experienced an unfair job outcome because of their transgender status.

Nearly half of transgender workers have experienced a negative job outcome due to identifying as transgender. According to transgender employment discrimination statistics, 44% were passed over for a job, 23% were denied a promotion, and 26% were fired. 

14. 61% of the LGBTQ workers in Nebraska experience workplace discrimination and harassment. 

41% of the LGBT workers in Nebraska are harassed at work, and 20% are discriminated against on a sexual orientation basis. Based on a poll, 79% of Nebraskans think LGBTQ workers face workplace discrimination in the state. 69% believe that Congress should pass a federal law to protect those discriminated against on a gender-identity basis. 

EEOC Statistics by State and Category

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for implementing federal laws that make it unlawful for a job applicant or employee to be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, transgender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information of the individual. The following are EEOC employment discrimination facts and stats. 

15. Texas had the most (10%) of the US charges for discrimination in 2017.

Texas with 10%, Florida with 8%, and Colorado with 6% are the three states that had the most charges for discrimination, according to the EEOC in 2017. The list goes on with Georgia in fourth place, Indiana in fifth, and Illinois in sixth place. Vermont, New Hampshire, and Kentucky are the three states with the lowest number of discrimination charges. 

16. From 1997 to 2018, there were 1,889,631 discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC.

The complaints were for all types of discrimination in the workplace, but most of them were classified as retaliation (49%), race (34%), disability (32%), or sex discrimination (over 30%). Approximately 64% were officially dismissed, and about 18% were closed for administrative reasons.

17. In 2020, there were 440 GINA charges filed with the EEOC. 

The Global Initiative for Asthma is an organization that protects and helps people suffering from asthma. Employee lawsuit statistics inform us that, in 2020, there were 440 GINA charges (0.7%) filed with the EEOC, which is more than double the number of charges filed in 2019. 

18. More than 710,500 discrimination reports were sent to the EEOC for the color and race category between 1997 and 2018.

Although the overall number of cases dropped slightly from 2002 to 2005, in 2006, there was an extreme increase in charges of color and race discrimination that continued to rise until 2010. The overall number of charges for color and race discrimination remains higher than any other case group.

19. Retaliation is the reason behind 53.8% of workplace discrimination charges.

Facts about discrimination in the workplace indicate that more than half of all cases filed with the EEOC in 2019 concerned retaliation. With 39,110 claims, retaliation contributed to 53.8% of all lawsuits filed. For more than 10 years, retaliation has been at the top of workplace lawsuit statistics.

20. The EEOC has settled 70,804 employment discrimination charges in FY 2020. 

The EEOC secured $439.2 million for victims in the workplaces of both the private sector and the government. Almost half of the lawsuits were filed against private companies with less than 100 employees. 

Final Words 

Looking at these discrimination in the workplace statistics for 2021, discrimination and harassment in the workplace are anything but a thing of the past. Even though it’s unlawful, workplace discrimination continues to be one of the main issues in employment.

Discrimination in the workplace can result in stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or other mental health conditions. In some cases, it can even lead the victim to suicide. Employees and employers likewise must address this issue as these employment discrimination stats provide significant insight into what workers are dealing with on a daily basis. Even in the 21st century, the world has a long way to go to reach equality. These shocking statistics about employment discrimination possibly provide a clue that we’re not on the right path yet.