November 15, 2022

Why Are Black And Latinx Workers Still Trailing Behind Their White Peers?

A new report by DEI consulting firm Grads of Life revealed that Black and Latino employees are less likely to reach significant career milestones despite undergoing the same training as their white peers. 

The survey included almost 2,000 workers from Year Up’s workforce development program, which saw many Black and Latino employees admit to not reaching significant career milestones such as promotions and salary increases. 

Only 36% of the people surveyed admitted to receiving a promotion in 2021, while 23% reported receiving a raise in their salary. Due to the lack of recognition and career mobility, many applicants are left looking for the nearest exit or leaving their chosen profession altogether. 

While more companies are developing their hiring practices to be more inclusive and reflective of broader society, there is still a gap when retaining Black and brown talent. 

According to a new analysis published by the TUC, Black workers with degrees earn 23.1% less than white workers with similar qualifications. These findings further support the idea that not enough is being done to ensure Black and Latinx work in industries prioritizing fairness and equality. 

“Black and Latino employees may be undervalued once they enter the workforce,” said Elyse Rosenblum, managing director and founder of Grads of Life. 

“It suggests something is going on in corporate America. Even people similarly prepared, once they get into the workplace, experience different outcomes. You really have to ask what is going on?” 

Employees call for HR leaders to play a pivotal role in bridging that. For example, HR should be able to track promotions, raises, and salaries to ensure disparities in the workplace are not taking place.

If Black and brown workers are not given access to success like their white employees, the racial gap within workplaces will continue to triumph, which is a daunting thought for many. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.