When you experience discrimination at work, it can be hard to know what to do. You might feel like you’re alone in dealing with this issue, but unfortunately, racial discrimination is all too common in the workplace.
If you’re facing racial discrimination at work, here are some steps you can take to stand up for yourself and help create a more inclusive workplace for everyone.
Defining racial discrimination
Racial discrimination is an uncomfortable and increasingly visible systemic injustice that has existed in the United States for centuries. In the workplace, it can take many forms, all of which are damaging and unfair. Racial discrimination is often subtle and insidious, ranging from ostracizing or humiliating an individual based on their race to refusing to grant them an interview or the same opportunities as other workers.
Racial discrimination can affect employees’ mental health in the immediate and long term. In addition to causing psychological harm, it can lead to a feeling of alienation among those affected, creating conflicts between them and their peers and their employers.
Furthermore, research shows that racial discrimination in the workplace results in decreased job satisfaction and productivity due to the overwhelming nature of the hostile environment. When employers ignore or condone racially discriminatory behavior among employees, it sends out a message to minority groups that they are not valued or appreciated, furthering the cycle of discrimination.
Employees who experience racial discrimination should report the incident to their supervisor or human resources department immediately. Once steps have been taken to address the situation, it’s crucial for the employee to document everything that has happened, including any conversations and interactions with other parties involved.
Discrimination of any kind is wrong, but racial discrimination can profoundly affect those who experience it. If you’re a victim of workplace racism, know that you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to hold your company accountable.