Over 70 per cent of Black Canadians experience racism or microaggressions on the job – survey

Members of KPMG’s Black Professionals Network. Pictured below, Left to Right are Jay Henry, Olamiposi Olawole and Annie Mburu.

A Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) survey released on Tuesday found more that than 70 per cent of Black Canadians still experience racism or microaggressions on the job.

While one-third of respondents to the survey indicated they experienced less racism at work over the past year, 39 per cent said they faced the same amount or more while 28 per cent said they experienced no racism.

The survey included 1,001 self-identifying Black employees and was conducted between Dec. 21 and Jan. 9.

According to the survey, 80 per cent of respondents feel they can speak up about racism at work without being stigmatized and that they have allies who will stand up for them when they witness instances of discrimination.

But more than three-quarters of Black Canadian workers said their company needs a major culture change to become more equitable.

The survey found 88 per cent of Black Canadian workers feel companies need stronger commitments and targets for hiring and promoting Black people.

Eighty-six per cent called for more appointments of Black people to boards of directors or senior management ranks, while 82 per cent urged more anti-racism education and training for employees and management.

“What is most striking to me regarding the poll results is the message of better things to come,” Tamika Mitchell, an Enterprise Audit senior manager at KPMG in Canada, and Co-Lead of the Black Professionals Network told The Caribbean Camera.

 “Yes, right now, seven in 10 Black people experience some form of racism in the workplace, which is heartbreaking. But at the same time there is optimism and hope that things are changing,” she said. 

“Now that we are equipped with this data, it is our responsibility to act upon it and engage in the difficult conversations and actions required to make our workplaces and communities more equitable spaces for Black persons,” she added.