Nearly every working professional in Fort Lauderdale likely shares the same goal: to have their efforts recognized through a promotion. The concept of promotion assumes that such an achievement is merit-based, yet many cases have shown that career progression can be influenced by factors outside of an employee's control. In certain circumstances, those factors might be motivated by discrimination. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is quite clear in saying that it is unlawful for an employer to base its decisions regarding promotions on age, sex, race, religious beliefs and sexual orientation. Yet determining when that has happened can be a challenge.
A review of the statistics detailing professional promotions in the U.S. yields some surprising results. When comparing the promotion rates of different demographics (as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), one can see that in 2010, a higher percentage of female employees were promoted than men (9.9 percent of the research sample size compared to 6.9 percent, respectively). This may seem to fly in the face of popular assumptions that women struggle more to find career advancement opportunities than men. Seeing a greater emphasis placed on promoting women in the workplace may account for this disparity, yet so too could the fact the more women are seeking careers today than in years past.
One area where the assumptions regarding discrimination do seem to ring true is age. The same research shared by the BLS shows that significantly higher percentages of younger employers get promoted than do their older colleagues. Some might point to the fact that the same data shows that promotion rates in general have declined in recent years as evidence that there are simply fewer opportunities. Yet favoring a younger demographic when it comes to offering those opportunities can indeed be considered discrimination.