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Despite diversity efforts, top companies remain mostly white and male

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Discrimination

Inclusivity of workers of all races has become a hot-button issue in the corporate world. Many major companies have increased their efforts at recruiting, hiring and promoting candidates from minority backgrounds. However, despite these apparent efforts, a new study has found that the high-ranking positions at the nation’s top companies remain predominantly white.

Alarming disparities of races

The publication USA TODAY published an in-depth analysis of the hiring practices of the Standard & Poor’s 100, an index of the largest companies listed on the stock exchange. It found that white male employees hold the majority of executive-level jobs at these companies. The lowest-ranking positions are usually held by Black or Latina female employees. When it comes to the boards of directors for these corporations, membership for more than half the boards was primarily white.

Further, many of these companies refuse to offer transparency in their hiring and promotional processes. This makes it difficult to ascertain how, when and why employment discrimination plays a role in the elite corporate world.

What does discrimination look like?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forbids employers from discriminating against workers based on race, gender, age, nation of origin, religion or disability. Some common forms of employment discrimination include:

  • Failure to hire workers of a protected category
  • Failure to promote workers of a protected category
  • Wrongfully demoting or firing workers of a protected category
  • Assigning undesirable job duties to workers of a protected category

The disparity between the races of workers at the top of corporations and workers at the bottom indicate that discrimination likely plays a major role in hiring, promoting and firing practices. Although major companies often boast about their inclusivity policies and their diversity education efforts, many apparently fail to implement their own practices.

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