Describe how to challenge discrimination in a way that encourages change To maintain a culture of anti-discrimination in the workplace, any and all discrimination should be challenged as soon as possible and in a way that encourages change. Discrimination should never be accepted, excused or dismissed.
- It should always be challenged to ensure that the discriminating individual and others understand that the behaviour is unacceptable, whether,
- There are a few ways that this can be approached.
- You should try to be courageous and challenge it face-to-face with the individual as soon as it occurs.
- This should be performed in a non-confrontational way that could include asking questions, making suggestions and pointing-out opportunities.
This is the most effective way of ensuring that it does not reoccur. However, this may not always be possible. In cases where you do not feel comfortable challenging discrimination yourself, you should always report it to your manager, who will be able to offer guidance and advice and take action to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.
Sometimes discrimination can occur unintentionally and in most cases, informing and educating the individual of their mistake and the reasons why it is unacceptable is enough to stop it from happening again. If an individual continues to be discriminatory, additional formal training may be required or even disciplinary action.
Your employer’s agreed ways of working may provide further guidance about challenging and reporting acts of discrimination.
- 1 How do you respond to and challenge discrimination in a way that promotes positive change?
- 1.1 Why is it important to challenge discriminatory behaviour?
- 1.2 How do social workers challenge discrimination?
- 1.3 What is the impact of discriminatory practice?
- 1.4 How many types of discrimination are there?
- 2 How to raise awareness of diversity equality and inclusion?
- 3 How can positive discrimination be prevented?
How do you respond to and challenge discrimination in a way that promotes positive change?
Ways of challenging discrimination that bring about positive change How and when we challenge discrimination depends on individual circumstances, it need not necessarily be confrontational. There are ways of challenging discrimination which are more likely to bring about change than other ways of going about it, as follows:
By being polite but firm and clear about your views (i.e. being assertive) Pointing out the issue, this might be all that is required for others to realise that their plan of action may be discriminatory particularly if their intentions were not malicious Educating the person about the facts, in order to recognise their prejudices and misinformation Remembering that it is often not what we say but how we say it
If someone does not take on board the need to change or if they are motivated by malice and are deliberately perpetrating this type of abuse it is important to use formal process (See section 18.18 and 1.14 for Active’s grievance procedure and complaints procedure) Use to answer question 4.2c of the Care Certificate very proud to be working with. :
Why is it important to challenge discriminatory behaviour?
Courageous Conversations: Challenging Discrimination Within your role you will at times be required to challenge others’ behaviour because you think it is potentially discriminatory. You might need to challenge in order to:
Promote an inclusive and positive environment that is free of discrimination and that values difference Reinforce the policies and procedures of your organisation Ensure you do not breach the equalities legal framework
Knowing what, when and how to challenge can be tricky. There is some language and behaviour that is absolutely unacceptable such as language that is racist, sexist or homophobic or unlawful discrimination. There are also many situations where it doesn’t seem so clear cut.
Know about the forms of discrimination that are covered by the Equality Act 2010 Feel confident about promoting equality and inclusion Know when it is necessary to challenge discrimination Understand the principles of constructive and respectful challenging Be able to challenge discrimination using a solution-focused approach
Contact: to book, or with any enquiries. : Courageous Conversations: Challenging Discrimination
Should you challenge discrimination?
It is important that anti-discriminatory practice is always recognised and challenged. Ignoring comments or behaviour that are discriminatory can be seen as condoning or excusing discrimination.
When would you challenge discrimination to encourage change?
Course: NVQ Level 4 Diploma In Health And Social Care (RQF) Unit 4: Equality and diversity in health, social care, or children’s and young people’s settings LO3: Understand how to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion Buy Non Plagiarized & Properly Structured Assignment Solution Challenging discrimination can promote change.
For example, when a person feels that they have been unfairly treated because of their gender or sexual orientation it is important to stand up for them and fight back through legal channels if necessary so this never happens again in the future. A challenge to discrimination is an attempt to alter or undo a policy, practice or decision that unfairly treats you differently because of your membership in a particular group.
Challenges are based on different laws with similar aims. You can use two common types of challenges: individual complaints and class action lawsuits. Both these approaches have the potential to impact relatively large groups of people. Individual complaints can lead to policy changes or help get you a job.
Discrimination According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), social workers should act to eliminate and prevent discrimination of individuals, groups, and/or communities based on “race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability” (Code sections 4.02 & 6.04).
Historically, the social work profession (“the profession”) has opposed discrimination and charged its membership to challenge it as presented in the NASW Code of Ethics (NASW, ), the International Declaration of Ethical Principles of Social Work of the International Federation of Social Workers (), and the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education ().
The profession has accepted this charge as evidenced in indirect approaches of community organizing, policy planning, advocacy, activism, research, and education. Discrimination is defined as the outward behavioral response by a group that receives advantages and power (advantaged group), that is unfavorable or negative toward a group that lacks power and privilege (targeted group; Lum, ).
Prejudice, the predecessor of discrimination, is the act of thinking one group is better than or holds greater value than another. Discrimination is an act or actions, intentional or unintentional, that devalues, humiliates, or negates the rights to access information, opportunities, and/or resources of individuals or targeted groups.
Discrimination grants greater access to opportunities and preferential treatment to advantaged groups while limiting or denying opportunities and mistreating targeted groups. The number of targeted groups to which individuals belong increases the frequency and possibly intensity of discrimination (Hardiman & Jackson, ).
For example, a Black transgender woman who is hearing impaired belongs to multiple targeted groups, subjecting her to different forms of discrimination. Discrimination may present as overt (i.e., explicit and exposed) or covert (i.e., implicit and concealed). Overt discrimination is easily identified and legally challenged because of the direct communication of threat and/or physical violence (Major et al., ).
Legislation has been enacted against overt forms of discrimination in employment, housing, and finances to name a few. Unfortunately, legislation is less effective in guarding against covert forms of discrimination because of its clandestine nature (Beratan, ).
Overt forms of discrimination produce visual artifacts or oral declarations (e.g., schools failing to mainstream students with disabilities; “Whites Only” signs; or refusing to promote a Muslim woman wearing a hijab or a Black man wearing twists or locs, also known pejoratively as dreadlocks. Covert discrimination triggers feelings of doubt and uncertainty because of the lack of explicit and tangential proof.
A qualified woman being passed over for a job promotion may be uncertain if her gender played a role, but a history of qualified women being passed over strengthens the argument of the salience of gender discrimination. Discrimination occurs when prejudices and stereotypes based on class, age, ability status, employment, gender, discrimination, national origin, race/ethnicity, color, religion, and sex influence decision making (Quiros & Dawson, ).
The perpetuation of these acts, intentional or unintentional, ensures the legacy of discrimination continues and is inescapable for even conscientious individuals. The legacy of discrimination is long-standing and keeps society from functioning optimally. Discrimination has negative affects not only on targeted groups but also on advantaged groups.
When candidates of color, women, people with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, curious, pansexual, asexual, two-spirited (LGBTQ+) individuals are passed over for jobs, promotions, or leadership opportunities because of discriminatory thoughts and actions, advantaged groups do not receive the knowledge and experiences stemming from these groups.
- Discrimination prevents targeted groups from serving in decision-making roles or participating in discussions where their thoughts and leadership skills are considered and acted upon (Mueller et al., ).
- The diverse experiences from both advantaged and targeted group members shape, promote, and enrich business strategies, projects, events, and other work-related tasks in a positive and different way.
Discrimination has been found to be damaging to an individual’s biopsychosocial functioning and found to be a significant stressor associated with physical and psychological distress (King, ). As an environmental stressor, discrimination has been found to increase negative arousal and interpersonal conflicts.
In particular, racial discrimination has been found to place adolescents at risk of psychological distress, externalizing behavioral problems, and poor academic outcomes (Riina & McHale, ). Stress related to racism was associated with higher infant mortality rates among native-born Black mothers as compared to nonnative-born Black mothers (Rosenberg et al., ).
Consequently, the compounding effects of racial discrimination coupled with challenges in the environment adversely affect human biology and development, proximally damaging infant births and distally damaging future family formation. Discrimination has been strongly related to depression among Blacks and Puerto Ricans (Benjamins, ).
Covert discrimination was found to increase feelings of distress among immigrant Korean families in Canada because of attributional ambiguity in accurately appraising mistreatment based on an attack on their personal characteristics or identity (i.e., prejudice) or of their ethnic group membership (i.e., discrimination; Noh et al., ).
Cognitive appraisal completely mediated depressive symptoms and covert discrimination. Feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, frustration, and intimidation contribute to attributional ambiguity. Common forms of discrimination are related to age, ability, employment, gender, housing, nationality, race/ethnicity, and religion.
Age discrimination is the unfair treatment of individuals based on their age and is a common practice within the workplace (Dennis & Thomas, ). Age discrimination occurs when animus, such as stereotypes, prejudices, and differential treatment, occurs based on characteristics related to age and nothing else.
Age discrimination may manifest when one is not hired, fired as a cost-reduction strategy, laid off, or offered early retirement because of age. In the 1960s, the U.S. Congress enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to prohibit age discrimination in workplaces; the Equal Pay Act to prohibit wage disparity against women; and the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against Blacks, Indigenous people, people of color (BIPOC), and women (see EEOC, ).
Disability discrimination, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, targets individuals who have a mental or physical impairment that limits activities of daily living, have a record of such impairments, and are regarded as having impairments even in the absence of an actual disability.
Resulting from an individual’s disability, assistance and accommodations may be warranted and guaranteed within reason. Reasonable accommodations constitute physical changes to the environment, aid to the person with the disability, restructuring activities, providing qualified interpreters or readers to the individual, permitting more time for the completion of tasks or assignments, or purchasing and installing equipment that would help with performance.
The intent of offering the reasonable accommodation is to create an environment in which the individual with the disability can perform to a similar, if not the same, level of performance as a person without a disability. In the United Kingdom, section 6 of the Equality Act ( 2010 ) makes it unlawful to discriminate based on short- or long-term physical or mental impairment of activities of daily living.
Within the subtext of employment discrimination, wage discrimination can be defined as pay arbitrarily assigned to an employee unrelated to work performance or merit (Coleman, ). Two acts barring wage discrimination have been enacted, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
The Equal Pay Act outlawed the use of gender as the basis for discriminating in the wages of employees. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was more comprehensive in outlawing the use of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin in wage discrimination (Kennedy et al., ). Title VII prohibits retaliation against individuals who oppose discriminatory employment practices, filees a discrimination charge, testify or participate in an investigation; or proceeds with litigation.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination in employment (e.g., hiring, firing, layoffs, or any other term or condition of employment) based on pregnancy. Gender discrimination occurs in many contexts of women’s lives, such as family, work, religious institutions, and educational institutions.
In Canada and the United States, women report feeling discriminated against by trusted parties (e.g., intimate partners, family members, and people in their social network) because of their gender (Foster, ). The effects of gender discrimination are long-standing and can become instilled unconsciously into the collective global consciousness through traditional gender roles of women and men, mainly relegating women to a substandard or lesser status.
Improving conditions for women must entail understanding how gender discrimination contributes to poor career outcomes for women. A Nigerian study identified causes of gender inequality in academia and the implications on academic development of women academicians.
- Ogbogu () found that academic recruitment strategies were biased against women and academic acceptance was motivated by merit.
- However, traditional gender roles and nuclear and extended family responsibilities influenced women to embrace low career aspirations because of the conflict between work and caregiving responsibilities, which prevented women from working toward greater academic gains and higher academic positions.
Housing discrimination occurs when targeted groups are not allowed to purchase, rent, or remain in a dwelling because of restrictions imposed by a landlord. It also entails outright refusals by landlords; denial of availability of a dwelling, different terms or standards, or unwarranted termination based on discriminatory reasons; lack of repairs for certain tenants based on discriminatory reasons; creation of a sexually hostile environment; lack of reasonable accommodations for disabled persons; and failure to stop another tenant from making harassing, threatening, or discriminatory comments to a person in a protected category.
- Housing discrimination may occur through political and structural forces, such as red lining, municipal ordinances, private deed restrictions, and racial violence.
- The recent subprime loan crisis made obtaining housing unattainable for many families of color (Mendenhall, ).
- Housing discrimination is illegal and prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act in the United States.
The act applies to anyone who deals with tenants and prospective tenants, including landlords, property managers, property owners, and real estate agents. Persons who deal with tenants and prospective tenants may be liable for employee civil rights violations, regardless of whether they were the ones who willfully discriminated against the tenants or prospective tenants.
As espoused by Mendenhall (), during various periods of history and under different stages of capitalism, the U.S. government, business organizations, the residential finance industry, neighborhood organizations, and individuals have engaged in covert and overt practices to actively create racially segregated, inferior, and higher-cost housing.
(p.20) Housing discrimination is created through structural practices that involve a barrage of complex factors operating on both racial and class lines. The quality of resources received for obtaining housing often varies based on many demographical descriptors, including race, gender, income, credit, and knowledge.
In European countries, such as Spain, have cities that have experienced high rates of immigration and a growing trend of housing discrimination. In 2007, the Catalan Right to Housing Act constituted the premier, most comprehensive European law against housing discrimination, including provisions defining direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and positive legal action (Ponce, ).
This European law could serve as a model for the U.S. legal system, setting an example for other forms of antidiscrimination legislation and policies. National origin discrimination is the exclusion, lack of opportunity, and/or denial of resources based on one’s national origin, ancestry, culture, and/or linguistic characteristics related to a specific ethnic group or accent.
As defined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate based on national origin. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces this federal prohibition by making it unlawful to discriminate against spouses of individuals born outside of the United States or individuals associated with persons of a different national group.
In the United Kingdom, the Equality Act ( 2010 ) protects against discrimination based on color, nationality, ethnic origin, and national origin. Racial discrimination is an outward behavioral response that is negative toward a racial out-group based on ethnic and phenotypic features of its members (Lum, ).
After a series of African Americans were murdered by police or injured while in police custody, a Black Lives Matter hashtag emerged on social media. This hashtag grew into several grassroots organizations formed to fight against racial discrimination and police brutality. In 2020, after a video displayed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for 9 minutes and 26 seconds, mass civil protests and demonstrations across the United States and other countries erupted to fight against police brutality and racially motivated violence against Black and Brown people.
Racial discrimination is also prevalent in the way the media covers news stories, often attributing crime to BIPOC. Although in the U.S. White Americans commit 59% of violent crimes (Federal Bureau of Investigation, ), media coverage does not emphasize their racial identity as it does when BIPOC commit crimes (Chuang, ).
On March 16, 2021, Robert Aaron Young, a 21-year-old European American male, killed eight people of whom six were of Asian descent in Atlanta, Georgia. On April 15, 2021, Brandon Hole, a 19-year-old European American male, killed nine people and injured several others, most of whom were Sikhs, in an Indianapolis FedEx store.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof, a 27-year-old European American male, killed nine African Americans at the end of a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In all of these examples, news media coverage neither emphasized their racial identity nor focused on the gravity of crimes White men commit.
However, on April 18, 2013, news coverage of brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20 and 26 years old, respectively, who detonated a bomb at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded 289 others, referred to them as terrorists and emphasized their Chechen-Kyrgyzstani ethnic descent.
In 2007, media coverage of Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old Asian American male who killed 32 people and injured 17 others at Virginia Tech University overemphasized his foreign ethnic identity, despite his permanent residency status in the United States since he was 8 years old (Song, ).
- In 2009, media coverage of Jiverly Wong, a 41-year-old Asian American male who committed a mass killing of 13 people, injuring 4 others at an immigrant services center in Binghamton, New York, overemphasized his birthplace and ethnic identity despite being a naturalized U.S.
- Citizen since 1995 (Chuang, ).
Despite both Cho and Wong having lived in the United States for more than 15 and 21 years, respectively, media coverage failed to view them as American or, in Wong’s case, as legal. Media coverage conflated Cho and Wong’s ethnicity with foreignness, race, and violent acts, shifting the burden of crime to BIPOC and reinforcing violent stereotypes against BIPOC.
- The overemphasis of foreign ethnic identity as violent, but not Whiteness, illustrates covert discrimination.
- Religious discrimination is unfair treatment of an individual based on their religious beliefs or involvement or affiliation with an individual who is associated with a particular religion or associated with a religious organization or group (EEOC, ).
Members belonging to marginalized religious groups are excluded from partaking fully in activities or in the opportunities afforded to members of mainstream religious groups (Adams, ). Because religion crosses other dimensions, such as age, race, gender, ability, and sexual identity, it is hard to disentangle it from other social identities that may be affected by discrimination.
For example, an Iranian American woman who is Muslim shares several social identities that may be affected by discrimination based on her nation-of-origin identity, gender identity, and Muslim identity. If she encounters covert discrimination because of her religion, it may be difficult to separate it from her other social identities.
An integrative approach to understanding how all of her social identities could be targeted for discrimination may assist in understanding the complexity of discrimination and the justification used to discriminate. Sexual identity discrimination is based on the lack of advantage and privilege afforded to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, asexual, intersexual, pansexual, gender non-binary, curious, and 2 spirit (LGBT+) (Griffin et al., ).
- Members belonging to the aforementioned groups are prejudged based on their expressions of gender nonconforming and non-heteronormative identities.
- For example, male figure skaters, gymnasts, and dancers may be identified by derogatory names because of their diverging expression of masculinity from a heteronormative aesthetic, despite their level of fitness, body strength, skills, training, and competitiveness (Gregory, ).
Discrimination against LGBT+ individuals are still widely accepted, as evidenced by the juxtaposition between policies that purport intolerance and enforcement of those policies once a violation occurs. According to Gregory (), when discrimination against LGBT+ individuals occurs in businesses, most employees (a) engage in using derogatory language, (b) support the use of derogatory language, (c) remain silent and complicit when hearing derogatory language, or (d) if opposed, fail to take corrective action against derogatory language against this group.
In the United Kingdom, the Equality Act affords protections of protected characteristics, which includes sexual orientation and gender reassignment. In the United States, on June 15, 2020, LGBTQ+ employees gained protection when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protected LGBTQ+ employees from being fired based on sex.
Since the 1960s, legislation in the United States has prohibited age discrimination through such acts as the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (Nuemark, ). Although much attention has been spent debating other acts, including the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act, which prohibit discrimination against women and BIPOC, age discrimination is beginning to receive more attention given the increase in the aging population.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s () “middle series” projections, by 2030 the U.S. population aged 65 and older will increase from 13 to 20%. The rising growth in the aging population in the United States will increase the social costs of any aging discrimination legislation on older adult workers or highlight any cost caused by age discrimination legislation.
In the United Kingdom, the aging population of individuals 50 and over continues to steadily increase because of declining fertility and mortality rates. Since the 1950s the number of older workers has steadily declined in the U.K. labor market and an exodus of older adults from the labor market has ensued because of closing industries, lay-offs of older workers, and early retirement packages offered to older workers nearing retirement age.
The U.K. Job Release Scheme ( 1977 ) aimed to remove older workers from the labor market by incentivizing employers to retire older workers and replace them with unemployed younger workers (Walker, ). Through the abolition of the earning rule in 1989, the U.K. government attempted to eliminate a prior discriminatory policy that penalized older workers who worked past the state pension age.
In 1993, Training for Work, the main government training program for long-term unemployed individuals, increased the age limit for access to the program from 49 to 63. Despite the increase in age limit, the administration priority is geared toward 18- to 24-year-olds.
Additionally, enrollment bonuses may not be given to training providers for enrolling older workers as compared to other disadvantaged groups. According to the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act of 1978, older workers who reach the “normal” age of retirement receive no legal protection if they are unfairly dismissed from work (Industrial Relations Services, ).
Unlike the United Kingdom, the U.S. Congress passed a series of bills banning age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA prohibited age discrimination and protected individuals aged 40–65 years old (EEOC, ). In 1975, the Age Discrimination Act prohibited age discrimination in all programs or activities that received federal assistance, including state or local governments.
- In 1978 the ADEA amendments extended the protective age range from 40 to 70 years, by default raising the mandatory retirement age to 70 years old.
- In 1986, another ADEA amendment removed upper-age limitations, banning mandatory retirement with limited exclusions.
- In 1990, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act regulated financial inducements to retirees, protecting older workers from differential treatment based on age by employers who express prejudices and stereotypes about aging that are unrelated to work productivity or costs.
In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 ensures that government and private sectors coordinate effort to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities so they may fully participate in society (Rothstein, ).
The act is divided into three titles: Title I prohibits employment discrimination of people with disabilities related to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, dismissal, employee compensation, job training, and other job-related conditions (42 U.S.C. §§ 12111–12117, 1994 ); Title II prohibits discrimination of people with disabilities from being excluded from, or denied benefits of, services, programs, or activities of a public entity (42 U.S.C.
§§ 12131–12165, 1994 ); and Title III prohibits discrimination in access to public goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations (42 U.S.C. §§ 12181–12189, 1994 ). The definition of disability is not presented in the three titles.
However, Section 12102(2) defines disability as “(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.” This act attempts to protect people with disabilities from being excluded from full participation in employment and in other public spaces and entities.
In the United Kingdom, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 aimed to end employment discrimination against people with disabilities (Konur, ). In addition to this act, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) of 2001 and the Disability Discrimination (Amendment) Bill of 2002 have prompted public discussion regarding the effectiveness of the DDA in protecting people with disabilities.
One point of contention with the DDA was the exclusion of educational institutions from its coverage, although those institutions were responsible for publishing disability statements. The lack of governmental protection regarding protection and inclusion of people with disabilities in educational institutions prompted the enactment of SENDA, which placed education within DDA coverage (Konur, ).
Despite the initiatives to create comprehensive coverage for people with disabilities, people with mental illness are relatively ignored. Public rhetoric demonstrates existing stigma associated with mental illness, thus skepticism and denial of discrimination against these individuals continues.
In the United States, the EEOC enforces the Equal Opportunity Employment Act of 1972, a federal law amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, applies to establishments with 15 or more employees. Title VII protects against employment discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, or religion.
As a caveat of the Civil Rights Act, individuals are protected from discrimination with regard to recruitment, hiring, advancement, compensation, job training, termination, and other work-related terms and/or conditions. Title VII makes it illegal for employers to use race, national origin, sex, or religion to refuse hiring, discipline, terminate, deny training, fail to promote, pay less, demote, harass, or creating a hostile work environment.
Under this policy, employees are also free from retaliation, segregation, or isolation from other employees. Title VII provides freedom for individuals to marry or associate with individuals of different races; become members of ethnic-based organizations and/or groups; and attend or participate in faith-based organizations, worship ceremonies, or cultural practices, as long as there is no interference in the ability of one to perform their job duties.
Outside of the United States, applying U.S. employment discrimination laws to international employers creates a significant challenge as multinational businesses continue to form and expand (Posthuma et al., ). Applying discrimination laws to international employers involves multiple sources of legal authority, which may include U.S.
- Statutes, international treaties, and laws of the host country.
- This form of discrimination occurs on the basis and expression of gender identity, perceived or actual.
- It has been argued that gender discrimination and sexism are different conceptually, but within the American legal system the term “sexism” has been legally interpreted to be the same.
Thus, Title VII of the U.S. Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA; H.R.1755/S.815; Human Rights Campaign, ) protects against sexism, but does not protect against gender nonconformity. Individuals who are gender-nonconforming do not receive the same protections as their gender-conforming counterparts.
One of the more pressing battles of gender discrimination that has been long fought has been obtaining the right for women to participate in politics through the basic right of voting. Women’s suffrage, which is the pursuit of women having the right to vote and seek electoral office is the first step toward women’s full participation in democracy.
The right to vote was first granted to adult women in New Zealand in 1893 (Ministry for Culture and Heritage, ); in South Australia by a British colony in 1894 (Government of South Australia, ); in Southern Rhodesia (known today as Zimbabwe) for restricted suffrage for White women in 1919, full suffrage for White women in 1957, and for all Blacks in 1980 (Heads of State of Zimbabwe, ); in the United States in 1920 (Mann, ); in Greece in 1952 (Sianou, ); in Switzerland in 1971 (Smith, ); in Liechtenstein in 1984 (“Around the World,” 1984 ); and in the United Arab Emirates (limitedly for women and men) in 2006 (Pichon, ).
- Despite this progress, there are countries where women still do not have the right to vote.
- Because of the bias against women and individuals expressing gender nonconformity, gender discrimination can be found in a variety of social, political, and cultural institutions (e.g., child marriages that still occur in Southeast Asian and African countries).
Gender discrimination manifests in religious institutions where women must wear coverings and modest attire, and any resistance by women could subject them to violence by religious police. It manifests in cultural practices that force genital mutilation on girls who have no way of refusing or facilitate sexual slavery against girls and women.
- It manifests in political practices that enact lenient laws that fail to adequately punish perpetrators of sexual assault, human trafficking, and/or violent crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals (Manjoo, ).
- All of these practices are unlawful, but many are unreported or underreported, and when they are reported perpetrators may either receive lenient sentencing (e.g., Brock Turner, a 19-year-old Stanford University student sentenced to serve 6 months in jail for raping an unconscious woman; he was released after 3 months) or none at all.
As evidenced in Chicago, red lining is a discriminatory practice that restricts certain people from residing in neighborhoods. The bulk of BIPOC today in Chicago still reside in South Chicago. Their residence in this area directly relates to real estate agents deciding which part of the city of which they wanted to restrict BIPOC, specifically Black people to live.
- A map of the city was posted and red tape was physically placed on the wall.
- Real estate agents were instructed to show houses only within the boundaries of the red tape when the potential buyer of the home was Black.
- The first known record of this practice dates back to the 1950s.
- Despite the changes in the topography of the housing market in Chicago 70 years later, Black residents still predominate in the area.
The practice of red lining demonstrates the duration and extent of discriminatory practices within a community even after the practice has been abandoned. In 2000, Delta Funding Corporation, a subprime mortgage lender, agreed to pay remediation of approximately $7 million because it practiced racially motivated, instead of risk-based, lending practices toward Black women.
Black women, regardless of income and credit scores, were found to have received, among all racial groups, the highest levels of subprime loans and to have paid higher fees (Fishbein & Woodall, ). In the 1930s, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reduced the financial cost of down payments and the number of monthly mortgage payments, and provided lower interest rates for long-term mortgages and mortgage repayment assistance.
In 1933, the creation of the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) assisted families in reclaiming their homes lost to foreclosures. Unfortunately, but similar to other policies, African Americans were prevented from obtaining access to these policy benefits.
For 2 years in the late 1940s, the FHA discriminated through racial covenants presented as neighborhood stability protections. It provided a racial model of discriminatory financial policies through the HOLC (Mendenhall, ). This model served as a framework for future government, banking, and real estate institutions to either alleviate housing crises for White families or promote discrimination against BIPOC families.
In the 2000s, European countries experienced a wave of immigration, which correlated with a growing trend of housing discrimination in Spain. Consequently, the legal system enacted legal protections against housing discrimination under European, Spanish, and Catalan law.
In 2007, the Catalan Right to Housing Act constituted the premier, most comprehensive European law against housing discrimination. The act included provisions defining direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and positive legal action (Ponce, ). This European law could serve as a global model for enacting antidiscrimination legislation.
This form of discrimination is based on unfavorable treatment of people from a particular country, including unfavorable treatment attributed to their ethnicity, accent, or dress attire. It also includes unfavorably treating individuals married to, involved with, or associated with individuals who are from a particular country and whose ethnicity, accent, and dress attire reflect that fact.
In the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination related to employers refusing to hire, promote, fire, pay, train, refuse fringe benefits, or assign jobs to individuals because they are from a particular country (EEOC, ). Additionally, in the United States, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate, in terms of hiring, promoting, firing, paying, training, providing fringe benefits, or assigning jobs, based upon an individual’s immigration or citizenship status (EEOC, ).
If an individual has legal documents to establish employment eligibility, then an employer must accept the appropriate documentation and follow employment procedures in accordance with the law. Exceptions are made for cases in which additional legal documents are needed or in cases where national security may be threatened.
However, in those cases, employers are expected to inform the individual of the additional documentation and direct them to the appropriate agencies. Discrimination based on immutable characteristics associated with race, color, hair texture, or certain facial features or based on a condition that predominately affects members of a specific race violates Title VII unless it is work-related and necessary for job performance.
For example, requiring cashiers to remove any form of hair covering may be offensive to Muslim women and East Asian Christian women who cover their hair because uncovered hair is not a work-related task or necessary for job completion. Another example is an employer creating a “no facial hair” policy, which may discriminate against African American men who are predisposed to pseudofolliculitis barbae, a condition that produces severe and painful shaving bumps from ingrown hairs that may become infected if left untreated.
- If the policy is work-related and necessary to carry out job duties, it does not violate Title VII.
- The First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S.
- Constitution protect the religious freedoms of individuals against government infringement but not against private infringement (Edwards & Kaplan, ).
- In the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also deems religious discrimination as an unlawful employment practice; hence, it bolsters the belief that religious freedom is a fundamental right in the United States.
The act prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment (EEOC, ). Furthermore, the act requires employers to reasonably accommodate religious practices of employees or prospective employees, except when the accommodation would create undue hardships for the employer.
Reasonable religious accommodations are any adjustments to work environments that allow employees to practice their religion: flexible work schedules, voluntary substitutions to honor religious holidays/events, job reassignments, or lateral job transfers. Other protections afforded by the act are employer guidelines on scheduling examinations or other selection activities on days not in conflict with employees’ religious needs, on forgoing inquiry regarding applicants’ future availability at certain times related to their religious needs, on forgoing adopting/maintaining a restrictive dress code targeting employees’ religious practices, and on refusing permission to employees to observe a religious holiday or time-specific practice.
Nevertheless, employers are protected from these guidelines if they can demonstrate that upholding them would cause undue hardships (EEOC, ). Undue hardships include increased administrative costs, diminished efficiency in work productivity, infringements on the job rights and benefits of other employees, impairments in work safety, unfair distribution of workload imposed on other coworkers, conflicts with other laws and regulations, and/or violations on the terms, conditions, or rights of a collective bargaining agreement or seniority system.
- Additionally, employees whose religious practices forbid them from paying union dues to a labor organization cannot be required to pay, but they may pay an equal amount to a charitable organization.
- In Europe, religious discrimination is forbidden by several laws, including the antidiscrimination directive under Article 13 of the European Community Treaty, the Human Rights Act of 1998, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Hepple & Choudhury, ).
However, in 2004 France passed a law banning headscarves, mainly worn by Muslim women (Shah, ), which left them unprotected. The passing of this law is oppositional to the bills of rights that, to an extent, substantiates religious freedom. Although France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have passed these bills, only the United Kingdom has adopted the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1953,
In the United States, LGBT+ group members have been slow to receive legal protections and constitutional rights and guarantees. This is mainly due to opposition from conservative religious and political groups that deem LGBT+ members as lacking appropriate morals (Rostosky et al., ). Despite the opposition from religious and political groups, LGBT+ individuals and their allies have advocated for the constitutional right to marry.
In June 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could marry with all rights and responsibilities granted by the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the United Kingdom, progressive policies have been passed providing legal provisions and regulations protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation (Aspinall & Mitton, ).
Furthermore, same-sex couples have received rights similar to their heterosexual counterparts. The United Kingdom has enacted equality legislation and equality governance, with sexual orientation serving as the basis for this movement. Despite the efforts made to promote equal opportunities among this population, policies and regulations are futile if compliance is lacking.
Governmental departments and organizations must develop strategies to monitor compliance and implement evidence-based practices (Aspinall & Mitton, ). The profession has been charged to work against discrimination, but it has at times supported discriminatory policies and practices.
- The profession has been criticized for promoting White middle-class ideals, failing to respond to the racial, gender, and sexual revolutions of the 1960s, and overall serving as a handmaiden to the status quo (Abramovitz, ).
- Early social workers situated societal-levels problems within the individual as morality, family composition, or family dynamic problems (Abramovitz, ).
Social workers exacted retribution or denied services if families (mainly low-income, minority, or immigrant families) upheld attitudes or behaviors different from the social workers. To address these earlier failings, the profession adopted values emphasizing diversity and difference, individual worth and dignity, and social justice.
- The NASW Code of Ethics describes appropriate behaviors regarding practice and research that specifically address discrimination.
- The profession has affirmed ending discrimination as one of its responsibilities.
- Because discrimination is so ingrained in the social fabric of human interaction, especially in Western societies, to distinguish it one must first increase awareness and sensitivity about discriminatory behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and situations.
Increasing awareness and sensitivity about discrimination may evoke an array of unpleasant and harsh behaviors, thoughts, and feelings in those who uphold it. Discrimination can be used as a tool to discern one’s value of self from others. Additionally, discrimination serves as a strategy for deciding who gets access to resources, how resources are distributed, and who will assume power in ongoing decision making.
- As groups compete, discrimination becomes a useful tool for reducing competition from others and maintaining the status quo.
- It is a quick way to separate out the deserving from the undeserving, the worthy from the unworthy—that is, us from them.
- It has been so ingrained in Western civilization that it often goes undetected and unchallenged, making discrimination has been inculcated within and perpetrated against targeted group members.
As social workers, we must recognize how discrimination has deleterious effects on targeted groups, individuals, families, and communities. For example, housing discrimination deters or prevents intergenerational accumulation and transference of wealth within families through housing-related investments.
- Particularly in the United States, owning a home or rental property can serve as an avenue for generating wealth beyond one’s employment salary.
- Individuals who are unable to own a home miss out on tax credits or relief that returns more of their taxed income into their households.
- Additionally, being restricted to live in a low-income housing complex or neighborhood may subject an individual to communities with higher crime rates, no accessible parks and recreation facilities, low-quality grocery stores or no grocery stores, neighborhoods without sidewalks, and other negative characteristics that impinge on neighborhood health and wellness.
Social workers have a major interest in understanding the effects of discrimination and implementing strategies to end it. Social activists must critique discriminatory practices, take a confrontational stance of social action, raise awareness, and fight to win decisive battles.
Community planners and organizers must engage in community-level change strategies by implementing culturally responsive approaches in ameliorating marginalization and disenfranchisement. In 2020, community organizers and activists in Georgia fought voter suppression by registering close to 1 million people to vote in the presidential and state run-off elections.
Social workers and other social scientists have researched the long-term, damaging biopsychosocial effects of discrimination on behavioral health. We know that dire consequences occur when discrimination is unaddressed, such as poor maternal health and increased infant mortality among Black mothers.
Given what is known about the effects of discrimination, what is less understood are macrolevel strategies that extinguish discrimination altogether. Federal policies make it unlawful to discriminate based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin; however, identifying and enforcing its elimination is challenging.
Social workers must continue to research and implement strategies to eliminate discrimination to create a just society for everyone. : Discrimination
What is the impact of discriminatory practice?
Discrimination can destroy self-esteem and self-confidence leaving an individual feeling worthless. Poor Health and Well-being: A persons health and well-being may be affected, they may become withdrawn and isolate themselves to avoid the situation., as they may be frightened of more discrimination. Or ill treatment.
How many types of discrimination are there?
Under the Equality Act, there are four main types of discrimination : direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. In this article, we’ll break down each type in detail and how they can reveal themselves in the workplace.
How to raise awareness of diversity equality and inclusion?
Download Article Download Article Promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in your community can be a big task, but you can find ways to make a difference! To call attention to these values, reach out to your local leaders, use social media, and act as a role model for your peers.
- 1 Act as a role model for your peers. Sometimes, the most effective thing you can do is model inclusive language and actions for others. Put your values into practice, and help your peers understand what it means to treat others with dignity and respect.
- Use the language preferred by individual communities. For example, “autistic people” instead of “people with autism” is the preferred language of the Autistic community. However, everyone has their own language preferences and beliefs. If an autistic person wants to be referred to as a “person who has autism,” use this language to refer to them.
- Respect other people’s chosen pronouns, names, or identities. If someone prefers to be called “he,” “she,” “they,” or something else, respect their wishes instead of trying to correct them.
- Challenge yourself and your friends to have lunch or start conversations with people of ethnicities, faiths, social groups, and identities other than your own.
- 2 Involve the leaders of your community, school, or workplace. Any programs you organize to promote your ideals will be most effective if you tap the resources of whoever’s in charge. A school principal, supervisor at work, or local government representative can broaden your impact and help you correct any specific injustices you’ve observed.
- You could write in a letter or email, “I’ve noticed fellow students, faculty, and staff have good intentions, but don’t know how to foster an inclusive atmosphere. Our community would benefit from a mentor, and I’d like to seek the administration’s support in hosting educational programs.”
- Reaching out to those in power can be intimidating. However, remember that principals are responsible for your well-being, bosses need to be stewards of companies, and your elected officials work for you.
- 3 Focus your effort on specific issues so your message doesn’t get lost. Instead of taking on all social issues at once, tackle 1 issue that directly affects your community. Raise awareness of the problem through social media, public events, and 1-on-1 conversations.
- For example, you might notice that sidewalks in your town are poorly maintained, which poses a hazard for people who may have mobility issues. Contact your city councilor, write to your local newspaper, or reach out to your local public works department to correct the issue.
- You might run a public fundraiser to donate books or clothing for children in need. You can also ask volunteers to offer free tutoring for these children.
- In areas with unequal access to healthcare, you could ask local doctors if they would be willing to offer their services for free for people with no health insurance.
- 4 Tailor your approach to your audience to make a meaningful impact. Sometimes, people have a hard time getting out of their comfort zone. For friends or relatives who are confused by or resistant to your ideals, try to correct them in a positive way. Since a long lecture might go in 1 ear and out the other, try to keep your response brief and matter-of-fact.
- For instance, if someone makes an offensive comment, you might say, “I understand you have a right to your opinion, but try to see things from a broader perspective. That joke might seem funny to you, but you wouldn’t be laughing if you were on the receiving end.”
- 1 Organize cultural events to expose people to different lifestyles. Fairs, festivals, and other events can help your community learn about other cultures, lifestyles, and beliefs. If planning your own event isn’t possible, you could bring your friends or family to one to help them learn more about your values. Great ways to engage other cultures and lifestyles include:
- International food festival
- International film screenings
- Pride parade
- Lectures and speeches from civil rights leaders
- Ceremonies and celebrations for different religious traditions
- Documentary screenings on important social issues
- Fundraisers for non-profits supporting diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives
- 2 Host a town hall where community members can voice their issues. Making sure that everyone’s voice is heard is an important part of inclusion. Try asking your local elected representative to host an open town hall for the community. For the greatest impact, choose a specific issue that affects your community, such as lack of healthcare or racial injustice in housing development.
- Invite community members to sign up for speaking slots at the beginning of the event. Give each person a certain amount of time to make sure that every person has a chance to be heard.
- Be sure to invite local government figures and policy makers at the event, such as the mayor, town council members, school board members, and chief of police.
- If your local government will not host an open town hall, hold your own. Book a room in a local library, community center, or school to host the event. Promote it on social media, by going to door to door, and by posting fliers at nearby businesses.
- 3 Create a fundraising campaign for a charitable cause. Many charitable organizations offer resources for planning fundraisers on their website’s “Get Involved” or “Take Action” section. To host an event at your home or office, offer light refreshments, make quick informative remarks, provide guests with educational pamphlets or fliers, and request donations for your cause.
- You could also host a voter registration drive and inform your peers about the importance of diversity among elected officials.
- Collaborate with other charities and brands to create more awareness.
- 4 Start a blog or social media account to spread awareness. A blog on a website like WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr can help you raise awareness for your ideals. If you don’t have time to publish your own blog, share articles, opinions, and thoughts through Facebook, Twitter, or your preferred social media site. You may also create multiple blogs and accounts on multiple platforms.
- Use hashtags and keywords that help connect your thoughts to the wider discussion. For example, you might use hashtags like #equalpay, #achievementgap, and #whyIstayed or #whyIleft.
- 1 Join or start a social justice club. See if there’s a multicultural association, LGBTQ support network, volunteer group, or related organization at your school. If there isn’t an organization at your school or university start your own ! Talk to a teacher, your school’s administration, or the office of student activities to learn your school’s specific procedures for starting a club.
- Your club could host speaking events and other educational programming, collect donations, and campaign for specific issues related to diversity, equality, and inclusion. For instance, you could invite a local elected official to offer her take on the importance of women in politics.
- 2 Host events that offer opportunities to engage other cultures. Help organize free events for your school community that are both fun and informative. Coordinate with various clubs or organizations to build bridges between interests, activities, and academic subjects.
- Cultural fair: celebrate holidays from different religions, hold a food festival with cuisine around the world, or showcase various forms of dance.
- Open mic nights: invite students from a wide range of backgrounds to tell stories, sing songs, or recite poetry about their unique experiences.
- Public lectures: ask scholars, civil rights leaders, and community leaders to talk about how others can help promote this cause.
- Networking events for marginalized groups: ask business leaders and teachers to meet with students. Students can workshop their resumes or find internships through this network.
- 3 Volunteer at your school or university’s office of diversity and inclusion. Your school might have an administrative office dedicated to promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion within your community. If your school doesn’t have a diversity and inclusion office, look for opportunities to volunteer with its women’s center, LGBTQ center, student accessibility services, student health, or counseling and psychological services.
- Ask if you can volunteer at an event or help out in the office. At colleges and universities, some offices may even have work study gigs for students.
- 4 Encourage friends to take sensitivity training. Search online for a nearby charitable organization or local chapter of a national non-profit related to your values. They can put you in touch with an expert who could offer training programs at your school. Programming ideas include:
- HAVEN Training for helping people who have experienced sexual assault.
- Safe Zone Training for supporting LGBT students.
- Green Zone Training to help military veterans transition into academic life.
- Disability awareness training to provide helpful assistance and access for students with disabilities.
- 5 Create safe spaces on your campus. A safe space allows students to discuss their experiences without judgment or criticism. You could create a general safe space for students or make specific spaces for students struggling with their sexuality, sexual harassment, racism, or mental health issues.
- Get help coordinating safe spaces from your school’s diversity and inclusion office, women’s center, counseling office, or from teachers who share your ideals. Work with faculty and staff to find and book a suitable location, develop warm-up exercises or ice breakers, and advertise meetings.
- You could book a room through your school’s administration and invite students facing specific challenges to talk about their experiences. It’s helpful to have a teacher or counselor to moderate the discussion.
- Remind allies that the safe space is a place for others to express their challenges. They may not be looking for advice or sympathy. Ask allies to listen, not to talk.
- 1 Ask HR to give a cultural sensitivity training workshop. For your next seminar, training session, or networking event, why not cover inclusion and diversity? These workshops can focus on a variety of issues, such as sexual harassment, cultural diversity, mental health, or equal access.
- Your HR department can run this themselves by using exercises, courses, and pamphlets found on the internet. They can also hire an outside consulting firm to run the session for them.
- If your business is small or doesn’t have an HR department, talk to your boss. Emphasize how cultural training can strengthen your organization as a whole.
- 2 Encourage inclusive hiring practices. Diversity and inclusion begins during the hiring process. Encouraging a more diverse pool of applicants will make your workplace a more inclusive place. Some ways you create an inclusive hiring process include:
- Write job advertisements with broad qualifications to allow a more diverse set of applicants. Be conscious of how your language might imply gender.
- Avoid gendered language in your job advertisement. Instead of using “he” or “she,” say “the applicant” or “they.”
- Advertise your diversity and inclusion policies, including any non-discrimination rules, in your job advertisement. Emphasize that you do not discriminate based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or disability.
- Make sure that the interviewers represent a diverse sample from your workplace. Ask broad, open-ended questions. Avoid questions about the applicant’s personal life, such as their religion, marital or relationship status, or children.
- 3 Institute policies regarding equal access and discrimination. A set of rules regarding discrimination and equality are important to make sure that everyone knows how they are expected to act. Talk to your boss, human resources (HR), or coworkers about instituting new inclusive policies.
- Establish a no discrimination policy in the workplace. Remind employees that no one can be discriminated against for their race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. Post this policy in a public place, such as a break room or near the printers.
- Make sure that all employees know how to report discrimination in the workplace. Employees who violate the policy may require sensitivity training or disciplinary action.
- If your company provides health insurance, make sure that it includes policies for a wide range of conditions. Inclusive policies are ones that offer birth control, STD testing, and a wide range of medical conditions.
- 4 Explain the importance of a diverse, inclusive workplace. Some people may resist new policies for inclusion or diversity in the workplace. When raising awareness of this issue, remind employees and employers of the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace.
- Benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace include higher productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and happier customers.
- You might say, “I think it is important to have more diversity in our office. It’s been shown that diverse workplaces are more efficient, and their employees are happier.”
Add New Question
- Question Can I ally with a white cis male for safe spaces? My dad is a white cis man, and he’s been one of my biggest champions in everything I do. When it comes to working together, it isn’t his identity that counts, but his choices and his behavior. If your friend is a trustworthy guy who makes an effort to be a good listener and ally, then go right ahead. It’s also possible that he has one or more marginalized identities of his own (like disability, sexual orientation, religion, income, etc.) that he could benefit from a safe space for as well. Whether he directly benefits from it or not, if his heart is in the right place, then he can be a great helper.
- Question Can I get involved by volunteering? Ann Wilson Community Answer Of course! Helping out non-profits that advocate for causes that you’re passionate about is always a great way to make a difference.
- Question I hurt my girlfriend two days back. Now she just wants to be friends. As a friend, how should I get her back? Friends respect each other’s wishes. If your girlfriend doesn’t want to date you, don’t push her. Give it time to let her cool off. After awhile, give a very brief but heartfelt apology for hurting her, and assure her that you’ll respect her boundaries, including her decision to just be friends. Then be a good friend to her, or let the two of you drift apart. If she changes her mind, she’ll say she’d like to try again. Otherwise, it may be time to look for a new girlfriend. There’s no way to make her want you, so the best you can do is respect her wishes and keep being the best person you can be.
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- Respect people’s boundaries, and avoid forcing them to change their opinions. Sometimes, you have to accept that you can’t force someone to see the world the way you do.
- Keep an open mind, and try to understand other people’s perspectives. If someone doesn’t share your ideals, do your best to see where they’re coming from instead of responding with anger.
Avoid supporting organizations that exclude the people they claim to be helping, such as Autism Speaks, Some groups further exploit marginalized people instead of helping them, so research a charity before you support it.
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How inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity?
Inclusive practice encompasses attitudes and approaches that help to ensure that individuals do not feel left out, excluded or isolated. This is achieved by ensuring that everybody has the same opportunities to participate and that individual differences are respected and valued.
- Inclusive practice also involves having an understanding of the terrible effects of discrimination and being able to challenge discrimination in a positive way when it occurs.
- By integrating inclusivity into your daily practice, you can ensure that each individual’s beliefs, cultures, values, preferences and life experiences are respected.
This helps to create stronger and more trustworthy relationships and promotes the self-esteem and well-being of others. Therefore, inclusive practice directly promotes and supports equality and diversity because it treats all individuals fairly and acknowledges, values and respects their differences.
What to do if you are being discriminated against at work UK?
Discrimination at work – Employees should talk to their employer first to try and sort out the problem informally. You may also want to read about workplace disputes, If things cannot be sorted out informally, talk to Acas, Citizens Advice or a trade union representative.
What is positive discrimination in the workplace?
5. What is the difference between positive action and positive discrimination? – Positive action is not positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is unlawful in Great Britain. If an action treating a particular group more favourably does not meet the statutory requirements in the Act for taking positive action, then it is likely to be unlawful direct discrimination under the Act, irrespective of the motives behind taking it.
recruiting or promoting a person solely because they have a relevant protected characteristic (without regard to the legal criteria) setting quotas (as opposed to targets) to recruit or promote a particular number or proportion of people with protected characteristics irrespective of merit requiring that places for those with particular protected characteristics are reserved on interview panels, irrespective of whether there are more suitable candidates excluded who do not have that particular characteristic creating schemes to benefit those with a particular protected characteristic, without any evidence that the group in question is at a disadvantage or has different needs
Positive discrimination may also occur where a disadvantaged or underrepresented group that shares a protected characteristic is treated preferentially (but not in accordance with the legal criteria or existing exemptions) to address inequality. Positive action should not be confused with ‘affirmative’ action, which was first introduced in the USA and has since been adopted in some other countries.
Although the general aims to promote greater equality of opportunity are similar, affirmative action can be more prescriptive than positive action and often involves the use of quotas to reduce the underrepresentation of some groups. For example, this could involve setting quotas to interview a minimum number of people from underrepresented groups for certain roles.
As above, introducing such quotas could constitute positive discrimination as they are mandatory and employers may need to put forward less qualified candidates for hiring or promotion opportunities to meet any minimum restrictions. Targets differ from quotas as they are not mandatory and can be used to make improvements without compromising the ability for employers to put forward the best candidates for roles.
- When considering taking positive action, you should be careful not to use American resources about affirmative action, as they do not set out the legal position in this country.
- To avoid positive discrimination, an employer should follow the steps set out in this guidance.
- In particular, an employer must reasonably think that one of the 3 conditions – disadvantage, different needs, or disproportionately low participation – applies to the particular group before taking measures targeting it.
An example of positive discrimination is the case of Furlong v Chief Constable of Cheshire Police. Cheshire Police operated a policy of treating all candidates who passed the recruitment tests (regardless of score) as being equally qualified for the job.
Ethnic minority candidates were then prioritised for selection. The Employment Tribunal found that Cheshire Police Service directly discriminated on grounds of sex, race and sexual orientation against Mr Furlong, who was a white, heterosexual male. The Tribunal found that while there was evidence that ethnic minority groups were underrepresented within the force, reliance on section 159 of the Act failed because the prioritised candidates were not as well qualified as Mr Furlong.
The tribunal therefore found that the action taken by the police force was unlawful because the test in section 159(4) was not met. First, the police force had set an artificially low threshold in their recruitment tests and it was wrong that all 127 candidates were equally suitable for the job.
- Second, the tribunal found that the police force’s recruitment approach of prioritising ethnic minority candidates had the hallmarks of being a policy.
- And third, although the police force had a legitimate aim to improve ethnic diversity in its force, the tribunal held that the blanket approach to positive action in recruitment was not reasonably necessary or a proportionate means of achieving that legitimate aim.
More information on positive action in recruitment is available in later sections of this guidance.
What is discrimination conflict in the workplace?
Types of workplace conflicts –
Task-based conflicts: Task-based conflicts can arise due to several reasons, such as lack of coordination and teamwork, if someone intentionally delays work, if tasks are not appropriately assigned and if the responsibilities and jobs are not well communicated. This conflict can be resolved by informing employees about effective collaboration and communication to complete the task. Leadership conflicts: due todisputes between different leaders. Everyone has a different working style; clashing leadership styles are the most common cause of conflict in the workplace. Work relationships suffer when leaders don’t communicate with each other. A new manager or supervisor in the same department can cause friction if they manage differently, which creates confusion between employees and impacts work performance. Mutual respect should be established to strengthen the work relationship and ultimately improve performance. Workstyle conflicts: Every employee has a different opinion and approach while working, which can lead to conflicts. Many prefer to work alone, and some prefer to work in groups collaborating with teammates. Some workers are punctual and finish their tasks early, whereas others wait until the last minute of the deadline to finish their work. Everyone may have a different working style, but the coordination between team members should be a priority to complete goals. Discrimination: Workplace conflicts can arise due to discrimination based on age, race & gender, gender transition, disability, physical characteristics, and religious or political beliefs. It stems from a lack of open-mindedness, understanding, and cultural acceptance. If Co-workers or supervisors mistreat and discriminate against employees because of these characteristics, it can negatively impact work performance. Personality conflicts: Everyone has a different personality and different ideas and opinions. Sometimes we face difficult people; they can be annoying, and some people can be intolerable. Especially if you deal with them daily, it can impact your mental health. It’s imperiousto remember that you cannot control other people’s behavior, but you can control how you react to it. When personal conflicts get resolved, it improves productivity.
How do you answer a discrimination question?
Don’t mention it – To avoid leaving a bad impression with a recruiter you can choose to answer a discriminatory question normally, as if you didn’t think it was out of the ordinary. You can also respond in vague terms if the situation allows for it – for example, if you were asked for your thoughts on the student protest.
- Remember, just because you didn’t call out the discriminatory question at the time doesn’t mean you can’t file a complaint after the fact.
- It’s easy to explain that you were surprised by the question and that you didn’t want to ruin your chances of getting the job.
- If you feel that the answer you’re going to give to a discriminatory question won’t affect a recruiter’s impression of you, it’s not a bad idea to respond.
For example, if your answer to the question “How long have you lived in Québec?” is “I was born in Québec”, it would be absurd for a recruiter to reject your candidature based on this answer. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have a right to feel perturbed by the question; you can file a complaint based on the fact that the recruiter was asking about your nationality in relation to your suitability for the job.
How can positive discrimination be prevented?
To avoid positive discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to ensure that you make decisions based on pre-determined criteria, rather than the protected characteristics that are held by the applicant.