Workplace Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Why monitoring cultural diversity in your European workforce is not at odds with GDPR

Author: Prof. Lokke Moerel*

The following is a guest post to the FPF blog from Lokke Moerel, Professor of Global ICT Law at Tilburg University and a lawyer with Morrison & Foerster (Brussels). This blog is a summary of a longer academic paper which can be downloaded here.

The guest blog reflects the opinion of the author only. Guest blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views of FPF.

“It has been said that figures rule the world. Maybe. But I am sure that figures show us whether it is being ruled well or badly.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I. Introduction

It is a known fact that discrimination persists in today’s labor markets,1 this despite EU anti-discrimination and equality laws—such as the Racial Equality Directive—specifically prohibiting practices that put employees at a particular disadvantage based on racial or ethnic origin.2 In a market where there is an acute scarcity of talent,3 we see HR departments struggle with how to eliminate workplace discrimination and create an inclusive culture in order to be able to recruit and support an increasingly diverse workforce. By now, many organizations have adopted policies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their organizations and the need has arisen to monitor and evaluate their DEI efforts.

Without proper monitoring, DEI efforts may well be meaningless or even counterproductive.4 To take a simple example, informal mentoring is known to be an

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