Four in 10 ethnic minority workers hide their career decisions because of cultural expectations
Four in 10 ethnic minority workers have lied about or hidden career decisions due to cultural expectations – more than twice as many as white workers.
A survey of 1,568 adults, including those from Asian, Black and Arab communities, found that 67% of non-White workers felt under pressure to take on specific job roles.
In contrast, just 31 per cent of White workers felt this way – a difference of 36 per cent.
And the pressure those feel from loved ones appears to take its toll – especially on ethnic minorities, with it being detrimental to confidence (37 per cent) and sense of independence (40 per cent).
The research was commissioned by ‘Samsung Pioneers’ – a platform created to champion greater equality in the technology industry.
Diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, Marvyn Harrison, said: “We have a generational issue of workers in ethnic communities being pressured into high paying and traditional job roles as a way of navigating systemic inequality.
“From my own experience, Black families specifically have stopped believing their children will have equality without creating a perceived value in their career.
“This prevents a diversification of the types of roles people commit to at the highest level, and an important sense of belonging once they get there.
“The impact of this mental load means Black employees are not showing up as their full self and experiencing imposter syndrome which prevents them from excelling and progressing at the rate their talent deserves.
“We need a generational shift of all races and ethnicities pursuing roles which suit their passions and consider their neurodiversity, mental health, class, gender, religion and sexuality, as well as being fully accepted for who they are.”
Culture pressure from all sides
No matter your ethnicity, there are roles that can be fulfilled to meet the family’s expectations, such as being a lawyer, accountant, or medical doctor.
But cultural pressure doesn’t just come from family – 47 per cent of ethnic minority workers claim to have been treated unfairly due to cultural background.
56% felt obliged to change their heritage or identity to fit in at work.
This includes changing your accent (32%), and eating habits (28%), in order to avoid being viewed as different.
In contrast, just 15 per of White workers have felt ‘forced’ to change aspects of cultural identity to become valued in the workplace.
OnePoll also conducted the study. It found that 71% of ethnic minority workers claim to be more difficult to work than White British employees with the same or similar job.
This includes the need to work more efficiently (47%), producing work of a higher quality (38%), and working longer (29%).
Dave Thompson, Black Professionals @ Samsung Employee Resource Group, said: “If we want everyone to bring their authentic selves to work and thrive in their jobs, we must take steps to not only understand, but also challenge the current state of play.
“Workplaces can help by building out sustainable careers across their business, subsidiaries and strategic partners to ensure the best practices are in place to drive equity, diversity and belonging at the centre of everything they do.
“We know there’s still work to be done to make all workers feel they can be heard and valued, but we’re committed to continuing our journey.”
For more information about Samsung UK & Ireland’s initiatives click here.
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