Respect, Racism and Discrimination At Work

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Respect, racism and discrimination at work

Over the past month alone, the number of racist incidents taking place in Singapore have seen an increase in numbers. The minorities have been sharing their unpleasant experiences on social media platforms and these incidents have since been gaining traction. 

This has got many thinking of how discrimination is still very much prevalent in our society. It has also got many wondering about how various forms of such unjust treatment continue to take place on an everyday basis in our very own backyard.

Whether you work from home or need to be in an office, employees need to adhere to certain unspoken standards of work ethics. A happier, more cohesive and understanding environment will grow out of a nurturing environment. And that’s got to be a win-win situation for everyone. 

An environment that witnesses and continues to allow the space for discrimination, on the other hand, can be very troubling indeed. With that being said, what are some things that can be done to help improve the overall quality of your work environment? 

How can we put a stop to discrimination? In this article, you will be able to find out more about how one can help to keep discrimination at bay in work situations. 

What is discrimination at work?

Sure, you and I know what the term generally asks of anyone in a social setting. However, what exactly does it mean?

According to an online article published by BreatheHR, discrimination at work is based on “certain prejudices and occurs when an employee is treated unfavourably because of gender, sexuality, race, religion, pregnancy and maternity or disability.”

How then we can prevent discrimination from taking place at work? Read on to find out!

How to prevent discrimination at work?

Ensuring that discrimination doesn’t have a seat at the office doesn’t actually call for much effort! Meaning to say, that it does not need to take the form of big or outlandish gestures. 

Discrimination can easily be beaten by adopting the values of respect, understanding and open-mindedness. 

We practice these values through the simple, and daily acts of our everyday lifestyle. As such, here are 3 steps you can take to start preventing discrimination from taking place at your workplace. 

Listen. Listen clearly.

Listening to what your colleagues have to say is one of the first steps you can take to keep discrimination at work away. Individuals who feel hurt or experience one or another form of discrimination may share their experience with those they feel comfortable. If you happen to be one of those being spoken to, listen. Listen clearly. 

Try your best to listen to what they have to share before diving into your own conversation points. This simple yet meaningful act suggests to others that you are keen on hearing their situation out. Don’t sweep things under the rug when you identify problems. 

Speak up for them whenever you can. The next time you identify a similar situation, ensure you take action to push discrimination out of the office. Listen to instances where some colleagues may be on the receiving end of discriminatory remarks but don’t react. 

Be proactive and nip the problem in the bud. Speak with both parties. Tell the one who was discriminatory that they need to take some time to rethink things and adjust their interactions accordingly. Speak with the discriminated and encourage them to be bold and stand up for themselves. Educate others and yourself on matters of discrimination. 

Listening is a great tool that can be used to solve such problems at work. Why not use it for a good cause?

Cut out prejudice

One can keep discrimination at bay by ensuring that their workplace completely cuts out any prejudice in view. Oftentimes, prejudices are present in one’s actions and individuals are not even aware that they’re practicing discrimination at work. That is, until someone points it out to them. 

As such, the first step you can take to keep discrimination at bay is by hiring without prejudice. Encourage your employers and hiring managers to keep an open mind and do the same. When diverse talents are able to join your firm’s workforce, there will be a larger pool of culture to learn from too. 

Similarly, when someone approaches you with discriminatory comments, don’t let them continue with what they came to say! Tell them you’re uncomfortable listening to such things and that you’d prefer respecting the other’s beliefs. 

If you can, take the initiative to educate them on inclusiveness. Ask them why they feel that way and why that path of thinking is flawed. Share with them the power of kindness, acceptance and respect. After all, remind them that you all share the same work space and inclusiveness is crucial to happiness. 

Therefore, cutting out any prejudice you see is an important step to prevent discrimination from taking stage at work!

Avoid forming and being a part of cliques

The third, but perhaps, the most effective way you can ensure discrimination at work does not occur is by avoiding forming and being a part of cliques. Cliques are those close-knit groups that don’t include everyone in their interactions. Instead, these groups actively try to exclude others from being a part of their social circle. 

Ensure that you or your colleagues don’t start or join a clique at work. These groups of ‘friendships’ can be extremely detrimental to one’s workplace culture. Sometimes, such groups may – knowingly or unknowingly – exclude a particular group of people at work. 

Such behaviour can cause unnecessary tensions at work. Those who may not be a part of this group may start thinking as to why such an exclusivity is present. Those who formed the group may be harbouring detest towards a specific group too. These scenarios can lead to misunderstandings and worse, fights between employees. 

Instead, treat everyone equally. Regardless of your colleagues’ backgrounds, see them as equals! Treat them like you would any other co-worker too. This is important to nurturing friendships at work.

Perhaps, the golden rule is one that can help to put things into perspective in this case too! That is, to treat others how you would wish to be treated. You wouldn’t appreciate being excluded from social meetings, right? 

Treat everyone the same way and you’d be keeping discrimination far away from your workplace!

What's next?

And there you have it – a piece on why it is crucial to respect your fellow colleagues and not allow any space for discrimination. We hope the information in this article has helped you get a clearer idea of how you can foster more inclusive relations at your workplace.

Instilling workplace values, like respect and equality, at your office can rake in numerous benefits for every employee. Remember, a little effort can go a long way to ensure a happy and successful workplace for everyone!

Keep a lookout for some workplace values we will be discussing as part of our new series! Searching for a new workplace that practices these workplace values? On the hunt for a new job?

If you’re on the lookout for jobs within other industries that are nonetheless located in Singapore, here’s an article that shares with you the top 19 job portals in Singapore.

No matter the industry or the position, remember to visit GrabJobs to find a job opportunity in Singapore easil

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: