The Reality of the BIPOC Jobseeker Experience




Madgex’s extensive survey of more than 200 primarily BIPOC professionals revealed many stats and insights into the reality of the BIPOC jobseeker and employee experience. One key point that stood out was that, when it comes to DEI, actions speak louder than words.

Consider this your call to action.

As our data showed, the reality of the BIPOC jobseeker experience is one where racism and ethnic discrimination exist. BIPOC professionals don’t just want lofty statements and empty promises.

They want action. They want results.

They want allyship from associations like yours.

By taking a strong stand against racism, bias and discrimination in the professional workplace, your association can not only help connect professionals from diverse backgrounds with employment opportunities, but also usher in the next generation of members, increasing your ranks and boosting revenue.

Below, we detail the reality of BIPOC professionals by taking a hard look at the data collected from our survey and exploring ways your association can be an ally for them



I wear more Western formal and tighter clothing like dresses, even though I don’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing them.”

- A survey respondent when asked if they alter their appearance, dress or mannerisms to downplay their ethnic or cultural identity when applying for a job.

Bipoc people at work


Examining the Data

The data collected from our survey revealed that BIPOC professionals face widespread racial and ethnic bias and discrimination both in their search for workplace and at the workplace itself.

Specifically, the data collected from our respondents showed that:


38 percent pie chart
26 percent pie chart

38% of respondents said they had experienced some form of bias or discrimination during a job interview

26% changed their appearance to downplay their ethnic or cultural identity for a job interview

48 percent chart
19 percent pie chart

48% were concerned their race or ethnicity could negatively impact their chances of securing a job

19% turned down a job offer due to the bias and discrimination they faced in the application and interview process


I am concerned about prejudice based on my name and not even getting past the resume review.

- A survey respondent when asked: Are you concerned your ethnicity might have a negative effect on your ability to successfully compete for jobs?



The bottom line? BIPOC professionals need an ally as they navigate the professional world to help advance their careers.

That ally is your association.



I'm afraid that my efforts won't be as appreciated, and if an employer had to choose between me and a white candidate with equal experience, they would hire them. This is unless they are actively seeking diversity."

- A survey respondent when asked: Do you believe your career growth opportunities are negatively affected by your ethnicity?


Bipoc person at work


How Your Association Can Be an Ally for BIPOC Professionals

By taking action against racism and ethnic bias and discrimination in the professional workplace, your association can bolster its ranks, increase revenue and boost member retention and engagement. Doing so requires taking firm steps to help BIPOC professionals navigate the job market and workplace successfully.

Here’s a few ideas on how your association can take action and become an ally of BIPOC professionals!

Identify and Promote “Inclusion Champions”

Are some of your association members taking the initiative to promote inclusion and equity? Spotlight them and hold them up as leaders by example. This way, other members may be empowered to follow their lead and become advocates for inclusion in their respective places of employment.


Implement DEI Workshops, Training and Events

Schedule a series of DEI workshops, training sessions and events for your association members to help them understand the benefits of DEI and advocate for inclusion themselves. In doing so, your association can make all members not only feel welcomed and dignified as a whole, but also empower them with the knowledge they need to champion inclusion and equity individually.

Provide Resources for Personal Development and Learning

In addition to group workshops and events, provide your members with the individual resources they need to continue learning on their own. Articles, blog posts, whitepapers and helpful resource links on your website can be a great way to do this.

Put Inclusion and Equity at the Heart of Your Values

Every association has a core set of values their members live by. Make sure that inclusion and equity are at the center of yours so that every member feels welcomed and dignified, regardless of their background.

Improve Your Communication

How you communicate with your members is key.

Audit your website, newsletters, social media accounts and other forms of communication and determine whether you’re using inclusive, neutral language. If not, take steps to correct this as soon as possible.

Be an Advocate for DEI in Your Industry

Don’t just hold a few DEI training sessions and call it a day. Instead, become a vocal advocate for DEI in your industry and position your association as a thought leader in it. Doing so can send a strong message to your current BIPOC members that you’re serious about inclusion and can also persuade prospective members of all backgrounds to join.

Build Relationships

Building relationships is crucial in DEI.

That means everything from working with external organizations and experts to evaluate and optimize your current policies, partnering with colleges, chambers of commerce and relevant organizations to recruit new members and reviewing your preferred vendor list and other partners to be more inclusive.

Weave DEI Goals into All Key Pillars of Your Strategy

DEI shouldn’t be an afterthought for your association. Make sure you build it into your strategic plan so all members, regardless of their background and identity, feel like they have the support they need to learn, network, obtain credentials and advance their careers.



It is no secret that America has an issue with racism, and I worry about being able to compete with my white counterparts.

- A survey respondent when asked: Are you concerned your ethnicity might have a negative effect on your ability to successfully compete for jobs?


Are You Ready to Take Action Now?

As we examined, the reality of the BIPOC jobseeker experience is unfortunately one where discrimination and bias exist on a daily basis.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Your association can take action now to ensure that BIPOC professionals – including many of your own members – can compete in a fair and equitable job market.

How so? Download our eBook now to learn how associations like yours can be an ally for BIPOC professionals and be sure to sign up for our workshop on Thursday, October 28 for additional insights and action points from the experts themselves.