Racism in the Workplace: Equality Through Discussion

Dealing with racism at work is not just about assisting a person who chooses to pursue their claim through the formal system. The source of the problem might be in a manager’s actions, an organization’s culture, unconscious bias, or other factors. Racism in the workplace may go unnoticed and continue to plague workers if these issues are not addressed effectively.

Creating a stronger, healthier, and better workplace culture is impossible without a solid set of principles woven into every policy, decision, and procedure. Therefore, it’s high time to renounce any poor rules, habits, partnerships, or customer interactions that go against your company’s values and protect the diversity of your workforce.

What Is Race Discrimination in the Workplace?

A clear indication of racism is when workers belonging to racial minorities find that their allegations and experiences are dismissed by their co-workers and superiors.

The refusal to accept these complaints or experiences only builds resentment among employees and reinforces inequality in the workplace. Therefore, it is critical to open discussions with your employees as soon as such issues arise.

Examples and Types of Workplace Racial Discrimination

Due to their race, many ambitious and exceptionally bright men and women cannot develop their careers. Pre-employment information that reveals an applicant’s race shows that employers can use this information to hire unfairly. As a result, if members of minority groups are denied employment, the request for these pre-employment data can be considered discrimination.

Here are some other examples of racial discrimination in the workplace:

  • Having a conversation with a co-worker and using the phrase “your people.”
  • Comments made about the culture or customs of a certain group of people. If someone is offended on behalf of their speech, cultural practices, diet, or musical tastes, this may be a sign of racial prejudice.
  • Despite having superior qualifications and work experience, a candidate is passed over for a promotion due to the interviewer’s racial stereotypes.
  • Different occupational responsibilities are assigned to different races.

Intentional discrimination

Treating someone unfavorably because of their race is known as direct race discrimination. This can happen when employers fail to review Bangladeshi individuals for employment opportunities or reject all non-British applications.

Unintentional discrimination

Indirect racial discrimination at work occurs when a seemingly non-discriminatory requirement, condition, or practice that applies equally to everyone is, in fact, more difficult for persons from particular racial groups to fulfill. An example of indirect discrimination is requesting a high level of English for a position that doesn’t necessitate it.

How Racism in the Workplace Affects a Company’s Reputation

Discrimination of any kind has no place in modern business. Therefore, employers must create a safe and welcoming environment for all employees, regardless of their skin color or ethnicity.

Disciplinary action that is unnecessary or unfair is a sign of poor management in the workplace. Furthermore, it erodes the workers’ confidence in their jobs and limits their chances of career advancement.

If you say something bad or hurtful, even inadvertently, make a genuine apology and reaffirm your commitment to fighting racial prejudice as soon as possible.

Disgruntled employees may significantly impact your reputation and recruiting success. For example, they can inform their family and friends about their dissatisfaction. As a result, these people might choose to do business with someone else.

On the other hand, organizations can improve their reputation by replacing a hurtful logo, jingle, or product name with a non-racist one or launching a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness about workplace racism.

Find out more about the current employee engagement trends.

Three Easy Ways to Eradicate Racism in the Workplace

  1. Welcome and socialize with colleagues from different backgrounds.

With this attitude, you won’t only eradicate racism, but you can also enjoy an increment in employee productivity and other benefits of diversity in the workplace.

  1. When you witness racism, don’t condemn the individual but the action itself.

By taking disciplinary action against an individual, other colleagues aren’t affected, and the main message is not understood.

  1. Don’t make assumptions based on preconceptions.

By doing this, you are opening the door to covert racism in the workplace, which can only ruin your workplace.

Racism in the Process of Employment

In the employment process, racism can manifest in many ways, from being denied promotions or job opportunities to being mistreated by a racist manager or co-worker. When dealing with racism in the workplace, it’s important to remember that no one is alone, and there is always a solution.

Jobseekers usually inquire about the company before applying. A workplace facing numerous discrimination lawsuits or a business with employees who openly express their dissatisfaction speaks volumes. Moreover, it causes the top candidates in the field to look for a job elsewhere.

How To Deal With Racism in the Workplace During the Hiring Process

Examining your company’s culture is the first step in eliminating racial discrimination in the recruitment process. By incorporating diversity and inclusion into your company’s leadership and management practices, employees will be able to resist racial discrimination in the workplace. 

Here are some ways you can do this:

  1. Use software to screen applicants.
  2. Use the identical, pre-set interview questions for all applicants and ensure they are free of complexities only specific groups would comprehend.
  3. Include skill tests in the competition.
  4. Require applicants to omit their names and school names in their applications.
  5. Use diversity-specific job sites, job fairs, and conferences to find candidates.

Who Benefits from Racism in the Workplace

It is much simpler to point out and blame individuals when problems occur. For example, when the company wants to confront racism issues, the standard response is to fire someone or replace the team leader rather than consider why the problem arose or reevaluate the company’s principles.

Employers should be aware of how catastrophic racism in the workplace can be. The one who benefits from this endless war is not the one who is working tirelessly day by day, but the one who wants to move forward in their career without keeping up with the times.

This may help build an atmosphere of genuine understanding.

Final Thoughts

Racism can negatively affect employees’ job satisfaction and engagement. Those who experience racism at work may feel devalued, unsupported, and stressed, leading to lower productivity and higher turnover.

Additionally, racism can create an unequal playing field in the workplace. Giving some employees preferential treatment or opportunities based on their skin color or ethnicity can only lead to feelings of resentment among others. 

That’s why creating a corporate culture that embraces and values people based on their diverse origins and experiences should be a must for all businesses. Only with equality-oriented principles and inclusive work environments can a company be free of racism in the workplace.