Discrimination in the workplace can contribute to hostility, tension and disrespect. The outcome of this type of negativity can jeopardize everyone’s safety, productivity and success.
While your employer should proactively educate you about discrimination and prevent it from happening, there are things you can do to support this initiative.
Know what discrimination is
If you do not know what discrimination looks like, it could be more difficult to discern when and how to intercept it. Discrimination includes lots of insensitive behaviors such as the following:
- Inappropriate jokes or commentary
- Menial tasks that impede progress
- Physical assault
If you witness discrimination in any capacity, it is your duty to report the situation immediately.
Set an example of inclusion
You can set an example to your coworkers of inclusiveness. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, educate yourself about your employer’s workplace policies regarding discrimination. Familiarize yourself with anti-discrimination laws and know your rights and responsibilities. Actively show your support to minority groups and encourage people around you to do the same.
Report concerning incidents
Anytime you notice someone experiencing discriminatory treatment, take your concerns to the human resources department immediately. Document what you witnessed and include details such as the date, time, behaviors and outcome. Your diligence in filing a report right away could prevent ongoing harassment and reduce the risks of hostility in the workplace.
Discrimination affects more than just the victim. It can also impact the perpetrator, witnesses and the company. Your commitment to preventing discrimination and educating others about its dangers could make a considerable difference in the type of culture that develops in your workplace.