Recognizing systemic discrimination at work (Part One)

Whatever your sector of activity, to be efficient, and to offer you the best ideas, your team must reflect the society in which we live.

Systemic discrimination still permeates all spheres of society, and particularly the world of work. Do you understand it? Do you recognize her? What are the insidious signs of discrimination in your ecosystem?

  1. Stereotypes and unconscious biases

Unconscious bias isan acquired belief, the result of which are thoughts or actions that disadvantage or exclude an individual from a group. These clichés are particularly harmful.

Ask yourself the following questions to guide your thinking:

  • Is your job posting network diverse enough?
  • In your job postings, do you use terms with masculine connotations exclusively?
  • Are you requiring qualifications or skills that are superfluous to those necessary, in order to reduce the pool of applicants?
  • Are you overlooking an application because the name is not easy to pronounce?
  • Are you fair and equitable in the scheduling flexibility you grant?
  • Are promotions awarded to the most available employees, or to the most competent?
  • Are terms like “them” and “us” used in discussions?
  • Do you intervene when humor gives way to questionable jokes?
  • Do you hear compliments tinged with ethnocentrism, like “Your French is excellent for a Hispanic”?

If you recognize yourself in these questions, you need to make changes soon, or ask for help to do so.

  1. Increased performance monitoring

Racialized individuals report that differences of opinion, or not getting along with a colleague, can take on a dramatic dimension.Field studiesreport that visible minorities are subject to more increased monitoring than their non-racialized colleagues. This monitoring implies that their work is not good enough, which feeds imposter syndrome,overrepresented phenomenonamong minority people.

  1. The unfailing glass ceiling

Studies reportthat with equal skills and diplomas, racialized people do not have access to the same jobs, promotions, salaries, particularly among women. When opportunities finally present themselves, we see thattheir authority is frequently questioned.

Thus, no one has a valid reason not to do their introspective exercise regarding their behaviors, values ​​and communication habits. Added to this is a real examination of the management of diversity in the exercise of functions.

Dansthe second part of our file, we will return to corporate social responsibility with regard to systemic discrimination, and we will provide you with ideas and an example of a concrete action plan so that your company moves from a performative approach (the tip of the Iceberg) to a transformative approach(the submerged part of the Iceberg).


Noellie Dias

Organizational development consultant

Specialized in human resources

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