In an ideal world, people would be equal in rights, opportunities, and responsibilities, despite their race or gender. In the world we live in, however, we constantly face all kinds of neglect based on different attributes. All over the world, certain people treat others with prejudice because of particular features they possess. Unfortunately, this happens even in places which, by definition, should be free of all personal prejudices—specifically, in offices and other business surroundings. This phenomenon is called workplace discrimination; not every unfair behavior at work, however, can be assessed as discrimination.
What exactly is workplace discrimination? It can be defined as a less favorable treatment towards an individual or a group of individuals at work, usually based on their nationality, skin color, sex, marital status, age, trade union activity, or other defining attributes (Australian Human Rights Commission). It can appear as a denial of certain rights, negligent treatment, intentional underestimating of a worker’s personality or work results and achievements, and so on. A person can be discriminated by their employers, or by their coworkers as well. Discrimination can result into severe psychological consequences for the victim, such as emotional stress and anxiety. Discrimination often causes an employee to leave the workplace, resign from a position, or in severe cases, to commit suicide, or act violently against the discriminators.
Workplace discrimination can take more open and threatening forms, which are known as workplace harassment. It occurs when an employee is made to feel intimidated, insulted, or humiliated, based on such features as race, ethnic origin, gender, physical or mental disability, or on any other characteristic specified under legislation (AHRC). The two most radical forms of workplace harassment are the application of physical violence or sexual harassment—women are especially exposed to this kind of discrimination. Workplace violence can take several forms: the direct exercise of physical force against a worker which causes or could cause injuries to the worker; an attempt to exercise physical force; or a statement or behavior which a worker can reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force (Ontario Ministry of Labor). Sexual harassment can take the form of obscene jokes and allusions; intrusive body contact; inappropriate gestures, or even direct actions aimed at sexual contact.
There are several ways to deal with workplace discrimination; such measures can be held both on the individual and on the collective level. Individuals who have experienced discrimination or harassment at work are recommended to stand firm under verbal attacks, remain confident about their own abilities and judgments, and try not to stay alone with the abusive person (UnionSafe). At the same time, collective measures can be taken as well. They usually include calling for a meeting in a quiet, confidential place in order to admit and discuss the problem; complaining to competent authorities; developing respective policies together with sanctions applied in case there is an infringement enacted by workers.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and not all people can enjoy equal opportunities and rights. This refers not only to our personal lives, but to our working environment as well; employees can be discriminated and abused because of certain features they possess, such as the color of skin, their ethnicity or gender, age, marital status, disabilities, and so on. To eliminate workplace discrimination, both individual and collective preventive measures should be made.
“What is Workplace Discrimination and Harassment?” Australian Human Rights Commission. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 July 2013. <http://www.humanrights.gov.au/what-workplace-discrimination-and-harassment>.
“Preventing Workplace Violence and Workplace Harassment.” Ontario Ministry of Labor. N.p., July 2011. Web. 05 July 2013. <http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_workplaceviolence.php>.
“Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace.” UnionSafe. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 July 2013. <http://unionsafe.labor.net.au/hazards/10717236108849.html>.
Sign up and we’ll send you ebook of 1254 samples like this for free!
- 80+ essay types
- 1000+ essay samples
- Pro writing tips
Related Writing Guides
Writing a Definition Essay
What is racism? The typical dictionary would state it is the prejudice or discrimination that is directed against individuals with different beliefs or race. Unfortunately, racism can be seen almost everywhere….even in a high school. Teasing, name-calling, bullying, verbal abuse and exclusion – all these forms of racism can be nowadays observed in high schools, where all kinds of people – be it teachers, pupils or workers – face with negative effects of racism.
Students representing different races find it extremely hard to make friends with their peers from the other “races circles”. When things like that happen, sociability is compromised, which means there is no social growth observed within the communities.
One more reason why racism should be eliminated lies within the fact that some students reject their own parental and culture values. When being discriminated for their culture, students begin to make themselves fit the mainstream culture. As a result, they abandon their parental and cultural values just to avoid prejudice. This leads to the identity confusion. Young people don’t know who they are anymore and what place they really belong to.
Racism has also been one of the core reasons of drop out cases at schools. Being discriminated, students start hating school and, as a result, stay away from it. They give preference to stay in rather than meet the ones who tease them. It’s no wonder that they end up dropping out of school. This, in turn, has a major negative effect on their lives. They end up getting frustrated and even involved on crimes in order to somehow make a living.
Have the teachers been somehow affected by racism? Definitely. They are being teased either by the fellow teachers or students, and, as a result, they lose confidence in their professional ability to teach and passion for teaching. They end up with being unwilling to go to work and have a depression. This significantly lowers their academic performance that affects the education system, as a whole. This is one more solid argument why should racism be totally eliminated.
You will be impressed to know that some people have tried to point out some positive sides of racism. According to the viewpoints of some of them, the racist experience can help an individual to grow into a stronger person. How do they argue this? To their mind, one can gain more pronounced resilience levels in the process of resisting and respond to the marginalization and discrimination. This argument has been an error from the very beginning. The thing is that racism has been proven to cause self doubts and low self esteem that can turn an individual into a weak and unhappy person. School teachers, students and their parents – they cannot become stronger and more successful as a result of racism.
Therefore, racism is now one of the most crucial social vices and we must address it in the most serious way. Racism has become the reason of lower academic performance. Besides, it has also affected the health statement of its victims and highly compromised sociality in high schools. All the effects mentioned above have resulted in weak community – high school relations and poor educational segment. Without a doubt, it is highly important to take anti-racism measures in schools in order to prevent the sad racism cases in the future.