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Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

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3.1 Exploring discrimination

The impact of racism in the workplace is significant. The people participating in the video you’ve just watched used words such as uncomfortable, vulnerable, paranoid, left out and targeted.

But what does racial discrimination look like?

Bright HR (no date) provides several examples of race discrimination:

Table 3
Direct discrimination Saira, a person of Asian ethnicity, applies to work as a receptionist in a predominantly white area. She meets all of the job requirements, but following an interview the employer tells Saira ‘you wouldn’t fit in here’. A white person with similar skills and experience is hired instead.
Indirect discrimination Enrique, a Spanish national living in the UK, applies for a position at a marketing agency. The job advert gives ‘native English speaker’ as a requirement, but Enrique is bilingual and meets all the other requirements. After interview, he is rejected as a non-native English speaker.
Racial harassment Shafiq is a Muslim working as an administrator. His line manager continually comments on his appearance and questions him about Islamic customs. Shafiq begins to find his workplace hostile and intimidating.
Victimisation Jane, a British woman of Māori ethnicity, is taking her case to employment tribunal after being racially abused by two colleagues. In the run up to the hearing, many more of her colleagues stop talking to Jane and her manager puts her on probation.
Racial discrimination by association Michael, a white British man, performs well at interview for a sales rep position. The next day he runs into the interviewer while out with his wife, who is of African descent. The interviewer makes it clear Michael will not be hired because of his wife’s colour.