Have you ever felt underpaid because of your gender? Have you ever seen people being excluded from important projects because of their castes or nationalities? If you have then you know what discrimination is and if you haven’t, well, then welcome to the world of reality. Here, people talk equal opportunities but mean otherwise. Most of the people today who take the pain of venturing out of their homes to work for better lives have been violated at their workplaces in one way or the other. Discrimination at the workplace means discrimination in recruiting, promoting, job assignment, terminating, and compensating against a particular class of people. It can be based on gender, race, and nationality. "Discriminatory behaviors” as observed by United Nations as”, they take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection." And though discrimination now is a punishable offence, it goes largely undetected because of lack of awareness and often leads to harassment. It’s a deadly disease for which the only cure is awareness. Read on to understand and deal with workplace discrimination.
Discrimination In Workplace
Discrimination, according to Oxford concise dictionary, is nothing but unfair treatment against a person or a group of persons based on prejudice. Differentiating people on basis of age, gender, race, and language etc is discrimination. Discrimination at work is a matter of serious concern for organizations all over the world.
Discriminating against an individual based on his/her race is a common form of discrimination prevalent in the Western countries like US where the natives are “white-skinned”. Here, the colored races of Asia and Africa are looked down upon and not given equal employment and growth opportunities.
Sexual Or Gender-Based Discrimination
Another prevalent and possibly the most common form of discrimination is gender based. Women, across the world, face the brunt of bias in employment and are often subjected to growth-inhibiting phenomena like “glass ceiling”. Their wages are generally much lower than their male counterparts and despite qualifications, higher posts are still a mirage for most of them.
With the world looking for fresh ideas, hiring 20-somethings has become a raging frenzy. And facing the wrong side of this frenzy is the middle level managerial workforce aged 40 years or more. These 40-somethings are constantly fired unceremoniously to hire younger employees in a global effort of painting a younger corporate picture.
This is a new form of discrimination, which is based on the sexual choices that an individual makes. Despite being qualified and intelligent, homosexuals are looked down upon in the society. Employers shy away from recruiting or promoting them and they are generally abused for the choices they make in their personal lives.
This discrimination is prevalent in Asian countries like India, Iraq, and Pakistan etc which reel under cast-ism or discrimination between high castes and lower castes or Shias and Sunnis.
Physical disabilities form another important ground of discrimination. Although disabled people have reserved seats in organisations, their involvement in projects and overall respect and dignity at workplace has not improved.
Language is another important barrier to growth. This type of discrimination is found everywhere. Every country has a number of varied languages and dialect and people not knowing them are generally treated with contempt.
How To Deal With Discrimination At Workplace?
Irrespective of designations and personal choices, every person deserves a right to be treated equally and humanely. Everybody has a right to a discrimination free workplace. Employees must be judged on their performance and not on their backgrounds. If an employee feels discriminated on basis of physical appearance, religion, sex, caste, or age, he/she must raise his voice against such discrimination and seek a remedy from his/her employer.
Organizations need to promote a harassment free culture. They must ensure an equal opportunity policy that is more than just talk. To maintain bias free environment throughout the organization, employees at all levels should be provided periodic counseling to train them to bring out the best in their new colleagues. And above all, the management must keep its ears open to all complaints and must never shy away from in-depth enquiries or harsh decisions.