Discrimination in the workplace: Types, Examples and Steps To Curb Discrimination

Workplace discrimination often happens due to gender, racial or ethnic, social backgrounds, etc., disparities. Conflicts among co-workers are common due to differences in age, caste, color, or social status. However, to ensure your office culture is fair and equal, you must understand to tackle discrimination in the workplace.

Four Basic Types of Workplace Discrimination  

  • Direct Discrimination: It is intentional due to bias towards race, caste, gender, etc.
  • Indirect Discrimination: It is unintentional most of the time. It happens when a rule or company policy that applies to all workers becomes disadvantageous for some.
  • Victimization: It happens in case if a person raises a grievance, makes a support, or give evidence related to an allegation of biases
  • Harassment: Violating a person’s dignity by gossiping, asking someone inappropriate questions

Common Examples of Discrimination in the Workplace

An employee can face inequity in several situations, including:

  • Withholding benefits to particular office staff due to biases
  • Mistreating due to age, caste, etc., during promotions or lay-offs in a company
  • Paying workers in the same position different salaries due to caste, age, etc., differences
  • Rejecting potential candidates while hiring
  • Seniors harassing employees while giving disability leave or retirement options
  • Denying the use of company facilities just because of religious intolerances

Main Types of Workplace Discrimination 

  • Biases Due to Age Differences

Older workers are often harassed by the seniors in an office who think work productivity lessens with age. Besides, Younger workers too are not given enough credit because of their less experience.

  • Gender Bias

Do you know that surveys show that companies earn 41% more revenue when they have equal men and women? Yes! But sadly, gender inequality is still a problem, and many women face harassment at their workplace.

  • Bias Due to Disability

Many job candidates with physical or mental disabilities face bias. It includes unjust behavior during hiring, training, pay, job duties, promotions, etc.

  • Sexual Orientation 

Employees often mistreat others because of their sexual likings. Therefore, it is crucial to realize that when your workers feel safe to express their sexual orientation, they are comfortable at the workplace. Therefore, everyone should respect each other regardless of their sexual preference.

  • Judging Someone Because of Their Personality 

Having a mix of different personalities in a company can lead to conflicts. However, it also has the perks of new ideas or insights that come from each individual. So, bring different personalities and use their viewpoints to your business’s advantage.

  • Being Offensive Due to the Socio-economic Status of Co-workers

  Regrettably, in some companies, people are mistreated because of their monetary status. However, one must understand that the performance of an employee is not affected by their finances. Therefore, firms should not discriminate against workers with low-income.

  • Religion

Research shows that racially diverse firms perform 35% better than other companies. Therefore, It is crucial to teach workers to value different types of people for business growth.

  • Unfairness Due to Qualification

The offices with workers of different levels of education do not mean they have a low standard. This diversity means the company focuses on what they need. It means they allow people who may be the ideal new employees because of their job skills for their company.

  • Race and Ethnicity bias

Racial bias is a worse problem that most companies face today. People belonging to a different race, nationality, color, descent, etc., often face unfairness. 

Therefore, both the seniors & all workers in an office must receive training to gain knowledge on racial biases and ethnic diversity.

  • Other types of discrimination in the workplace 

Other than the above-mentioned ones, harassing someone in office also happens based on;

  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Status as a Parent
  • National Origin
  • Maternity/Pregnancy
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Reprisal / Retaliation

Steps to Curb Workplace Discrimination 

Here are some best practices and tips to avoid workplace discrimination

  • A Robust Recruitment Process That Avoids Bias

A company must ensure all the candidates are treated equally during the hiring process. The recruiters must ask them the same set of questions & must not judge them based on their caste or gender.

  • Educate Your Workers

Your office staff should know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to office behavior. They must understand how beneficial it is to appreciate each other for business benefits and personal career growth.

  • Anti-discrimination Policy

To build a respectful workplace for your workers, you must reduce the risk of bias. Now, you can do this by helping your workers to understand their rights and duties. Show them that your company treats everyone equally and that you won’t tolerate unfair biases.

  • Deal With the Complaints Quickly

If your employee faces any form of injustice, your managers must deal with it quickly and privately. It will make your staff feel safer, valued, and protected, reducing the possibility of inequity.

  • Diversity Training

Today, 57% of workers want their company to do more to increase office diversity. Therefore, diversity training for managers, supervisors and even employees is the best option. This type of office training helps to spot cases of biases and teach how to respond to them. 

  • Regular Reviews and Employee Feedback

Reviewing your policies to make sure it is working at its best is crucial. Therefore, you must listen to the feedback of your in-house staff & make changes in office policies when necessary.

Laws Protecting Workers Against Biases 

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects office staff in case of gender, race, religion, etc.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) forbids employees from discriminating against people older than 40.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is for gender equipment preventing inequality in wages.
  • Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, it is a crime to fire a woman in case of pregnancy.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects a disabled person in job areas, local government’ programs, services, etc.

Benefits Companies Gain From Non-discrimination 

When there is a workplace free of discrimination, the organization can benefit productivity and enjoy a happy work environment.

  • Perks of Gender Equality in a Company

A company that does not discriminate against men & women attracts talented people, increases retention, and improves company reputation. Plus, it helps bring different ideas and insights, making problem-solving and making business decisions easier.

  • Suitable Work Environment

It is evident in research that workers love to work in a company with a good work culture. The happier the office setting is, workers can give 100% to their work. Therefore, in a bias-free office, the dedication of the workers is always best.

  • Reduced Absenteeism

A company where workers are treated well and respected regardless of their gender, caste, color, etc., always comes to the office stress-free. It reduces the risk of work delays and project failures.

  • Collaboration Between Employees Brings Profit

When workers are friendly with each other, they cooperate during group tasks better. Now, this not only helps to finish the job fast but the quality of service improves too.

  • Company Reputation Increase

When office misconduct, conflicts, fights, etc., decreases, the reputation of the company increases. It attracts quality workers, and the financial future of the company becomes bright.
Therefore, why wait? To secure the future of your company, take steps to deter biases at your office. To get started, call GetImpactly. We offer the best diversity training to help your employees learn the best office behavior. You can also check out other courses to help your employees build a better work culture.

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