Subtle Instances of Racial Discrimination Exist in Workplaces
Racial discrimination, whether it is subtle or overt, takes a toll on a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Yet, subtle signs are often more prevalent than overt instances of racial discrimination. Are you aware of them?
Sometimes the signs of racial discrimination are so evident that it is impossible to overlook them. More often than not, signs of bias are subtle and more likely to fly under the radar. Even so, subtle forms of discrimination are wrong and should not go unnoticed. Here is a look at some of the subtle ways in which racial discrimination exists in the work place today.
Teasing about Your Lifestyle Choices
Although teasing comments often appear to be innocent in nature, they begin to look more negative as the number of them increases. It is difficult to prove that teasing comments have racial undertones to them. Track this type of comment by writing it down along with the date and circumstance in which it occurred. This form of bias may include comments about your hairstyle, food selection, clothing design, or music choices.
Phases such as “It’s getting a bit too dark in here” and “Don’t use colors in your presentation, because white is a better choice” can mean more than appears on the surface. Be sure to write down the comment, who said it, and when it was said to help prove your case. Don’t forget to include details that provide the context surrounding the comment.
Never Chosen for a Promotion
Constantly being overlooked for a promotion may or may not have something to do with racial discrimination. If your skills, productivity, and results are excellent, not being selected to move up to a higher position can be racially motivated. This type of subtle discrimination is often difficult to prove. Nonetheless, it is worth looking into, particularly if you can identify individuals with fewer skills and less expertise being promoted over you.
Exclusion from Training Opportunities or Overtime
Not having the opportunity to obtain appropriate training can prevent you from becoming upwardly mobile. While you may not be able to prove your exclusion from training opportunities is racially motivated, your career may suffer as a result. Be sure to document each training opportunity that you did not receive.
Overt Hostility by Supervisor
When supervisors openly display minor forms of hostility, other employees are likely to maintain the same offensive tone. Although the conduct may never reach a chargeable offense, it portrays a disregard for laws designed to protect against racial discrimination. It also creates an atmosphere in which the targeted individual believes the only choice is to put up with it.
Most workplaces employ at least one individual who is overly critical of employees. This criticism may always be pointed at you and rarely at other employees. When this situation occurs, it shows bias and should be considered a sign of subtle discrimination.
If you believe that you are being racially discriminated against, you may want to consult with an attorney who is experienced in these matters. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against racial discrimination taking occurring in the workplace. You have the legal right to take action.