People may think that racism and discrimination in the workplace are on the decline, but companies in Rhode Island and across the country still have a long way to go on that front. One study showed that a large percentage of citizens have witnessed or recognized workplace discrimination in recent years.
One of the reasons there’s so much contention surrounding workplace discrimination is because disparate definitions are in use. Many people still narrowly think of racism and other types of discrimination as conscious and premeditated acts of meanness or violence committed against someone because of their race, religion, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. People may believe that blatantly using slurs or not promoting an individual because of their identity are the only types of viable discrimination.
However, workplace discrimination can be much more implicit. Biases are baked into the nation’s socio-cultural fibers, and people regularly let preconceived notions and stereotypes affect how they see and treat other people. These definitional differences can lead to tension-filled workplaces, especially for traditionally marginalized groups, because most people have difficulty recognizing their own biases. After all, if people don’t know they’re being bigoted, it’s challenging to change their viewpoint.
Research shows discrimination still alive in workplace
A 2021 study conducted by Pew Research revealed that most Americans recognize employment discrimination against certain groups. According to Pew, 80% of respondents said they noticed some amount of employment racism against Black people; 76% felt Hispanic workers faced discrimination, and 70% reported witnessing iniquities levied against Asian employees at work.
Workplace discrimination is against the law. You don’t need to swallow it and keep your mouth shut. If you feel that you’ve been targeted, there are legal provisions in place to protect your rights.