- Do employees across different race/ethnicity groups experience company culture differently? In this post we provide a first look at a powerful new data set of Glassdoor company ratings, organized by the race/ethnicity of employees.
- Our analysis shows overall company ratings by Black or African American employees are below average: 3.3 rating compared to the Glassdoor average of 3.5 rating. This means that, overall, Black or African American employees as a group are less satisfied at work when compared to all employees. However, job satisfaction among Black or African American employees varies widely by company.
- We analyzed 28 employers, comparing those who self-identified as Black or African American to those who self-identified as non-Black and found that job satisfaction for Black or African American employees is lower at 11 of the 28 companies.(1) We also compared Black or African American ratings against Glassdoor’s overall company average (3.5), which includes employees of all races, and found that job satisfaction is lower at 21 of the 28 companies for Black or African American employees. This shows how workplace experiences are varied for Black or African American workers — there is no single “Black or African American experience at work” and every company is different.
- Technology giant Apple had the highest overall company rating among Black or African American employees in our sample of employers, averaging 4.2 out of 5. By contrast, retail apparel company Macy’s had the lowest company rating among Black or African American employees in our sample, averaging 2.7 out of 5. It’s important to note that these averages are from preliminary data only, and may not reflect patterns in the full workforces at these employers.
- While these new data on Glassdoor ratings by race/ethnicity are preliminary, they already reveal important differences in the lived employee experiences by people of different race and ethnic groups in America. Our analysis shows a powerful new way to use anonymous employee ratings data to offer an inside look into what’s really going at companies according to those who know best — the employees — while also measuring progress, or lack thereof, in company diversity and inclusion commitments.
A stark reality of workplace culture is that not all employees experience culture in the same way. The experiences of different demographic groups inside companies — employees of different races/ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation and more — are not all the same. As workplace inequities in hiring, pay, promotion, and job satisfaction receive long-overdue and broader attention, many companies have pledged to address these disparities. Unfortunately, little data has been available to date to help shed light on the size and scope of workplace inequity by race, gender, or other characteristics, or whether they are improving or worsening.
Today, for the first time, Glassdoor has launched company ratings broken out by specific employee demographic groups within companies. This expands on Glassdoor’s Fall 2020 initiative enabling U.S.-based employees and job seekers to voluntarily and anonymously share their demographic information when leaving company ratings and salaries on Glassdoor. One of the main goals of this ongoing initiative is to help the American public understand where inequities exist within the workforce today, and to provide guidance and objective markers as to which companies are delivering on their diversity and inclusion commitments and which are not.
In honor of Black History Month 2021, today we are revealing Glassdoor employer ratings by race/ethnicity. This is a historic first for our economic research team. In this post, we’ll give you a preliminary tour of the data we’ve collected so far, which offers an early look at never-before-explored patterns in workplace culture and satisfaction by race/ethnicity in America.
Because these data on user demographic characteristics are particularly sensitive, our research team took extensive precautions as part of our comprehensive review process to protect the identity of anonymous Glassdoor users. We used only personally de-identified data, accessed within a highly secure computing environment. Before publishing these findings, review and feedback was solicited and taken into account from Glassdoor’s own Diversity and Inclusion team and Glassdoor’s Black employee resource group, BUILD (Blacks United in Leadership and Development).
Some Facts About Race at Work
Before digging into our preliminary Glassdoor data on race/ethnicity at work, let’s set the stage with a few facts about race in the U.S. job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Black or African Americans made up about 12.6 percent of the labor force in 2019, or about 20.6 million of the nation’s 163.5 million workers.(2) And data show that the labor market experiences of these more than 20 million Black or African American workers differ markedly from other demographic groups in America.
One important factor when examining race in the workplace is that Black or African American workers aren’t represented equally among occupations. According to the BLS, Black or African American workers are sharply underrepresented in management and professional occupations — which tend to have high reported job satisfaction — and over-represented in lower-paid service jobs tending to have lower job satisfaction ratings. Today, about 32 percent of Black or African American employees work in management or professional jobs, compared to 41 percent for white employees. Similarly, 24 percent of Black or African American employees work in lower-paid service occupations, compared to 16 percent for white employees. This clustering into certain types of jobs (and not others) likely has a big impact on job satisfaction — and pay — among Black or African American workers.
Inequities in the job market also show up in the varied work cultures experienced by different demographic groups. Academic research shows that employee satisfaction can vary widely among race and ethnic groups. Some studies show that employees from underrepresented backgrounds can have starkly different opinions than white employees about the success of company diversity and inclusion policies. And surveys routinely show that workers from different race/ethnicity groups often disagree about the degree of inequity within workplaces.
Until now, job seekers have had access to very little information about how diverse racial/ethnic groups experience company cultures differently. With the launch of Glassdoor’s new diversity and inclusion features, we’re finally able to share some early data offering deeper insights and more transparency into how experiences at work differ across different groups of people.
A First Look at Glassdoor Ratings by Race/Ethnicity
Let’s have a look at the Glassdoor company ratings data we’ve collected since Fall 2020, when we began enabling people to anonymously contribute demographic information. At the time of this writing, people on Glassdoor have so far contributed more than 800,000 demographic insights from more than 187,000 employees at over 3,300 companies. In this first post, we focus on early patterns we’re seeing in company ratings by race/ethnicity, with a focus on the Black or African American employee experience compared to other employees.
The table below shows average company Glassdoor ratings from employees who’ve self-identified as Black or African American(3) as compared to ratings from employees at the same company who’ve identified as other races/ethnicities.(4) This table includes only a select group of employers for whom we’ve received ratings from at least 15 U.S.-based Black or African American employees. In addition to average ratings, the table also shows the ratio of Black employees’ overall 1 to 5 ratings to a comparison group of all other employee ratings.(5) In that column, a ratio greater than 1 means Black or African American employees reported higher job satisfaction than employees in other demographic groups at the same company. For context, in the right column we’ve also included current company ratings from all employees as displayed on Glassdoor, allowing a comparison of how satisfied all employees (from all time periods) are compared to our sample of self-identified Black or African American employees.
A First Look at Glassdoor Ratings by Race/Ethnicity: How Satisfied Are Black or African American Employees at Work?
|Employer Name||Overall Company Rating for Black or African American Employees||Overall Company Rating for Comparison Group||Ratio of Black or African American Ratings to Comparison Group||Number of Ratings from Black or African American Employees||Average Overall Company Rating on Glassdoor|
|Bank of America||4.0||3.5||1.12||21||3.9|
|The Home Depot||3.7||3.7||0.98||26||3.7|
|US Postal Service||3.1||3.0||1.02||18||2.9|
Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research)
Some Patterns in the Data
- Black or African American Employees Overall Are Less Satisfied at Work: Overall, the average company rating for Black or African American employees as a group on Glassdoor was 3.3 out of 5 as of January 2021. That’s below the overall average Glassdoor rating of 3.5 out of 5 rating for all employees during this same period. As noted above, Black or African American employees tend to be underrepresented in professional and management roles which have the highest job satisfaction, which likely contributes to this pattern. We also know that Black or African American employees report different experiences at work compared to employees of other races. In a separate Glassdoor survey, 47 percent of Black or African America job seekers and employees reported quitting a job after witnessing or experiencing discrimination at work, sentiment that’s higher than reported by white respondents.
- Black or African American Ratings Vary Widely By Employer: When comparing Black or African American ratings to a comparison group of people who self-identified as non-Black, job satisfaction for Black or African American employees is lower at 11 of the 28 companies we analyzed. For context, if Black or African American ratings are compared to overall company averages displayed on Glassdoor (which include both Black and non-Black employees) job satisfaction for Black employees is lower at 21 of the 28 companies. This illustrates how varied today’s workplace experiences are for Black or African American workers — there is no one “Black or African American experience at work.” Every workplace is different.
- Highest Rated Companies by Black or African American Employees: Among the 28 employers we examined, technology giant Apple had the highest overall company rating according to Black or African American employees of 4.2 out of 5. Notably, at Apple, Black or African American employee company ratings were about 8 percent higher than the comparison group. Apple was followed by Bank of America with 4.0 out of 5 rating, and Capital One with 3.9 out of 5 rating. It’s important to note that these averages are from preliminary data only, and may not reflect patterns in the full workforces at these employers.
- Lowest Rated Companies by Black or African American Employees: By contrast, apparel retailer Macy’s had the lowest overall ratings by Black or African American employees among the 28 companies we examined, at 2.7 out of 5. In our sample of Macy’s ratings, Black or African American employees reported overall job satisfaction of about 16 percent less than the comparison group. Macy’s was followed by CVS Health with 2.8 out of 5, and Walgreens at 3.0 out of 5. As above, it’s important to note that these averages are from preliminary data only and may not reflect the full workforces at these employers.
Where Is Big Tech?
Of the 28 employers we examined with at least 15 Black or African American employee ratings, only three are in the tech industry. This is partly due to underrepresentation by Black or African Americans in tech. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black and African Americans accounted for just 9 percent of workers in information technology occupations in 2019, despite making up nearly 13 percent of the U.S. workforce. Unfortunately, most major U.S. tech employers had insufficient data on Glassdoor from Black or African American employees to be included in our analysis at this time.
Limitations to Keep in Mind
When thinking about these trends, it’s important to keep in mind the data sources, namely company ratings sorted by employee race/ethnicity. Further, this analysis is based on a preliminary look at a new data source. Because these data are so new — having been collected within just the last four months — it’s important to resist the urge to make sweeping claims based on early data. The averages we’ve reported above are not derived from representative probability samples of company workforces — they represent data shared anonymously by Glassdoor users at this time. Readers should therefore take some caution in making conclusive, company-wide inferences about the state of race and employee satisfaction.
Although our data are preliminary, they begin to reveal stark differences in Glassdoor ratings among race/ethnicity — until now something no researcher has been able to explore. As we continue to expand these data in coming months and years, we are excited about the potential for using this additional information to usher in a new era of data-driven transparency and understanding into how well companies are living up to their diversity and inclusion commitments.
In this report we’ve taken a first look at a powerful new data source from Glassdoor: Company ratings by the race/ethnicity of employees. The data reveal important differences in Glassdoor ratings by race for the first time, with overall Black or African American company ratings below the overall Glassdoor rating as of January 2021 (3.3 rating, compared the overall Glassdoor rating of 3.5 out of 5). However, our data show there is no one uniform “Black or African American experience” at work — company ratings among Black or African American employees vary widely compared to non-Black employees among the 28 employers we examined.
While these data are preliminary, they are suggestive of meaningful gaps in workplace culture as experienced by employees of different race/ethnicity groups at America’s largest employers — a phenomenon we hope to explore further as more detailed data become available, as well as exploring other aspects of how workplace culture is experienced by different demographic groups, including by gender identity, parenthood status, LGBTQ status, veteran status, age and more.
Note: Please consider contributing to this research by sharing your demographic information anonymously on Glassdoor. Your contribution helps us build the anonymized data resources that power research like this into understanding how demographics impact pay and culture at work.
For more information, please see our media release about how to view Glassdoor company ratings and salaries by employee demographic groups, and view these first-person stories about underrepresented groups in the workplace.
- Note that a comparison of average employee ratings from self-identified Black or African American employees to overall company ratings displayed on Glassdoor must be interpreted carefully. First, overall ratings on Glassdoor are comprised of both Black and non-Black employees. Second, the two averages are from different time periods — sample of ratings from Black or African American employees are from September 2020 to the present, while displayed company ratings on Glassdoor are based on all historical company reviews. Finally, there may be different types of selection biases in the two figures, making it difficult to fairly compare ratings from self-identified Black or African American employees to all users, some of whom have chosen not to share their race/ethnicity information.
- Note that the U.S. Census Bureau classifies race separately from ethnicity. For example, people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity may be of any race according to Census definitions. Latinx workers overall make up about 18 percent of the total U.S. labor force. Of these Latinx workers, about 89 percent self-identify as white while 5 percent self-identify as Black. (Source).
- We use an inclusive definition that consists of any employee who self-identified only as Black or African American, or who identified as Black or African American along with another race/ethnicity.
- The “comparison group” includes all employees who self-identified as white, Asian, Indigenous American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle East, or “Prefer to Self-Describe” (and did not also self-identify as Black or African American).
- Glassdoor employer ratings follow a standard 1 to 5 scale, with 1 = very dissatisfied and 5 = very satisfied.