Acumen Insights

Millennial Perceptions of Discrimination and Advantage in the Workplace

By February 16, 2017 No Comments

GenForward, a joint survey between the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the AP-NORC Center, examined discrimination and advantage from a sample of 18- to 30-year-olds. Of all the racial/ethnic groups, young African-Americans were most likely to report being discriminated against professionally. Approximately 48 percent said they were discriminated against while looking for a job and in the workplace. About a third of Latinos/as and Asian-Americans reported being discriminated against in these two contexts. Only 10 percent of Whites reported these types of discrimination.

Women of all racial/ethnic groups and African-American men were more likely to report experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace than White men.  Just over a third (33 percent) of African-American women and men reported experiencing discrimination. In addition, 25 percent of Asian-American, 26 percent of Latina, and 33 percent of White women reported experiencing discrimination. Asian-American (12 percent), Latino (14 percent), and White (10 percent) men were the least likely to report gender discrimination in the workplace.

In terms of advantage, women are most likely to report that men have an advantage when it comes to getting ahead economically. This finding was consistent for all racial and ethnic groups. Women, regardless of racial or ethnic group, also reported that their gender makes it harder for them to succeed.

Many of the individuals surveyed also reported that they believe wealthy individuals have an economic advantage. This was the case with 90 percent of Whites, 83 percent of Asian-Americans, 83 percent of Latino/as and 80 percent of African-Americans. Younger individuals were more likely to perceive that the wealthy have an advantage than to perceive Whites or men having an advantage.