Discrimination based on race, age, disability, or any other thing that sets you apart from the majority is not acceptable in any walk of life but more so in the workplace.
Inclusion is good for business; companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues, for example.
In times of crisis, it the marginalized sections like people of color and women, which carry the burden. A study says that 60 percent of women are in the majority as frontline workers giving them greater exposure to the virus, are more likely to work part-time and more likely to take on the burden of childcare when schools are closed. Meanwhile, people of color appear to be at greater risk of severe health problems and are also less likely to work from home and more likely to work in the gig economy.
Racial Discrimination in the Workplace
We list out some ways here to be an equal opportunity employer for the workplace.
First all do not shy away from mentioning discrimination in your organization. The message should be clear in your statement, actions and culture.
Companies always mention in their ‘about us” section when hiring that they are an equal opportunities company. But just an acknowledgment of the phrase is not enough; the work culture should reflect it.
Regular awareness and training sessions should be held for promoting a conversation and talking of racial injustice.
Tina Charisma, the founder of Charisma Campaign, explained “diversified work forces support empathy and compassion between people beyond their race in that the awareness shared during conversations goes on to influence relationships and eventually work practices.”
Promoting Awareness of Unintended Racial Prejudice
Most individuals are unaware of racial injustice and the comments they unconsciously make towards their BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) colleagues.
And the reality is that victims of racism remain silent due to fears of retaliation or creating an uncomfortable atmosphere.
If the management turns a blind eye or overlooks such complaints, then it promotes a culture of toxicity and sends the message that such behavior is acceptable.
While hiring, a conscious decision should be made to keep the workforce diverse and representative.
It does not mean that hire at the cost of quality but one can turn that around and look for quality more diversely.
Jessica Lambrecht, the founder of The Rise Journey, explained, “Ensuring you have diverse voices represented at all levels of the organization will help to create an inclusive workplace.”
An article by the Harvard Business School says minority job applicants are deleting references to their race on their resume to boost their chances of getting a job. Asians Americanize their names and put up socially acceptable interests on their resume.
There is a rampant bias against minorities and people of color in the resume screening process.
Companies can adapt to more flexible and diverse hiring by promoting blind hiring in the recruitment process. Name blind applications will focus more on merit rather than other issues.
The aftermath of COVID-19 will provide a good opportunity for an inclusivity reboot. Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way, says: “We’re trying to pierce the ‘let’s get back to normal’ narrative, because normal wasn’t so good for a lot of people.”
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