How to Deal with Workplace Discrimination

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How to Deal with Workplace Discrimination

By: Briana Elmore

We are so powerful beyond measure. We work very hard to establish ourselves in our twenties to set the tone for the careers that we want to build upon in our lives. While we are on our journey to assert our professional positions in life, we have so many things to balance in order to function. As a twenty something we face trying to prove ourselves to be more than the assumptions that society has placed on each of us. As we progress towards making our impressions on the world, we feel the pressures of proving our validity in the workplace. We have the task of feeling like we have to work much harder than some of our co-workers who do not identify with different groups that we work within.

We have an unspoken motivation to set ourselves a part in our careers. In workplace environment we find ourselves fighting the stigmas of our age, race, national origin, gender and personal belief system. The need to feel like you have to work at a staggeringly pace to “have it all together” at work is something that is ever present. It is almost like you feel like you have to work harder to prove that you belong in the position despite all of the qualities that set you apart from your other co-workers.

On the journey to making our paths to success work for us, we may encounter some people and circumstances that may not be favorable because things that are out of your control. The instances when you feel that you are being mistreated or held back at work because of race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, or disabilities are known as workplace discrimination. This type of discrimination can come in many different forms from many different people at your job ranging from management to consumers of products and services.

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As black twenty somethins we have a lot of minority groups that we represent in the workplace. We have so much depth to our identities and we balance those identities so well within our careers but sometimes there are others who may be threatened by the skill set that you have to offer.

There are many different types of discriminations that an individual may come across. If you find yourself in a discriminatory situation, here are some tips to better navigate your way through the types of discrimination that can subtly or blatantly be displayed in the workplace or industry that you are making a name for yourself within:

Understand that the discrimination you encounter is not your fault.

If discrimination is ever inflicted on you in the workplace, that is a reflection of someone else’s insecurities and inability to conduct themselves with professionalism. It is important for you not to tie your worth, both personal and professional, on the judgments inflicted on you.

Take the necessary steps to address and correct the discriminatory acts.

When are able to identify the discriminatory actions against you, it is important to make the decision to address the issues experienced with  an entity who is able to move towards rectifying the situation such as your management or HR. Going to one of the correct person(s) can prevent the issue from occurring again.

Be aware of the process that the company takes to rectify the issue of discrimination.

Make sure to be an active participant in holding management and HR professionally accountable for the effective rectification of the issue with all parties involved. In this phase, make sure that you are aware of your environment to get a proper assessment of corrective measures taken.

Weigh your options in your career.

After you have an instance of discrimination, you have to make the decision if you would like to continue to work in your current role or industry in the same capacity. You have the option to continue to work in your position or move on to a new position or company.  Once you have decided the way you want to move forward in your career, be very deliberate in the way you move to your next opportunity or conduct yourself in your current role.

As Twenty Somethins who are trailblazing their paths in our careers, it is important to know your worth in all situations. No one deserves to be in a situation where you have to deal with workplace discrimination. However, if you find yourself in this place in your profession you must move forward to inspire change and growth to eliminate the issue in the future.