Race or Ethnic Discrimination in the Workplace
Though we like to think that our society has progressed beyond the point when people were being associated with stereotypes and prejudices based on the colour of their skin, recent research reveals that this is not always the case. The sad reality is that race or ethnic discrimination is still very much present in all aspects of life including employment.
Results of Research on Race or Ethnic Discrimination in the Workplace Very Disturbing
The results of research on race or ethnic discrimination in the workplace are very disturbing. The researchers who investigated the influence of race or ethnicity on recruitment have found that applicants with foreign names are up to 50 percent less likely to get an invitation to a job interview that those with native names. Things were a little bit better in case of vacancies with a low response rate as well as ads for occupations requiring a higher level of education. But where the competition was intense, job seekers with foreign sounding names had to send up to double the amount of applications sent by “natives”.
The researchers also found that race or ethnic discrimination in the workplace isn’t necessarily driven by employers’ own bias and prejudices but rather their concern that both employees and clients/customers have a preference for native workers.
Definition of Race or Ethnic Discrimination in the Workplace
Race or ethnic discrimination in the workplace is defined as unfair treatment because of a person’s colour of the skin, nationality, ethnic background or citizenship. However, it isn’t always easy to tell the difference between race/ethnic and other types of discrimination. While Jewish people, Sikhs and Romany gypsies for instance are generally considered ethnic, Muslims on the other hand don’t “qualify” as ethnic group. If they feel that they are being discriminated at work, they can file a grievance for discrimination because of religion or belief.
Preventing Race or Ethnic Discrimination in the Workplace
To prevent race or ethnic discrimination in the workplace, employers should take the necessary steps to fully implement the requirements under the Equality Act 2010 but they should also work towards creating a respectful and harassment-free workplace. This can be achieved by educating the workers about the importance of tolerance and respect as well as set clear rules in regard to unacceptable behaviour, e.g. insulting jokes, remarks about a person’s colour of the skin, racial stereotyping, etc.