How to Tell if a Workplace Discriminates


Discrimination can occur in every part of our lives, including our careers. Workplace discrimination can leave people feeling like they have no control over their lives or careers and will kill the work ethic of even the best employees. This is something many people have to keep in mind when they’re applying for new jobs. You may not know for sure if a company discriminates by looking at it from the outside, but there are a few signs that could give you a clue as to what a company is like and how it treats its employees.

Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is very common. If you want to find a job that respects you but fear having bad enough luck that you end up working for a company that discriminates against you, or you already have a job and are seeing hazardous signs, you should familiarize yourself with some signs of a discriminatory workplace. Of course, you don’t want to make any quick judgments about a company, but some signs can be very telling.

Here's how to tell if a workplace discriminates.

Everyone On The Board Looks The Same

While a company might have some diversity in different roles and levels, it’s important to look at who’s at the top of the company. Does every supervisor, every manager, and every board member look the same? We're all used to images of company boardrooms being filled with older white men, maybe one white woman, and one man of different ethnicities. This is a sign of discrimination, keeping out almost everyone who thinks differently from them. This status quo needs to be thrown into question. These companies may have some employees of different races, genders, and ages, but they aren’t the ones making the decisions. Diversity in higher-up positions is essential to ensure that different voices are being heard and those who may have different experiences due to their race, gender, age, religion, and more are being taken into consideration.

Their Interview Process

In some cases, there might be signs that a workplace discriminates during the interview for a position. A common example of this is asking women questions about their plans to start a family. This can sometimes be seen as regular friendly conversation, but it is often inappropriate for an employer to ask during a job interview. Personal questions like this have no impact on whether or not a person is qualified to do a job well. An employer might also make comments during the interview process that can be a sign of discrimination. This can be extremely uncomfortable and upsetting for interviewees, and if you get a bad feeling from an interview, it could be a red flag.

Most Employees Are One Gender

A company may hire different genders, but you should pay attention to what positions they have. Certain positions in the company may only be given to people of certain genders. Although many job markets are divided by gender, it shouldn't be that way. If you notice your employer only hires men for IT work and only hires women for customer service: this is a problem. Pigeonholing employees to one line of work because of their gender, or refusing to hire someone at all because of their gender, is something that should have been left in the 1900s. Instead, all people must be given an equal chance to have whatever work is more rewarding and succeed.

Most Employees Are One Race

Sometimes, all you have to do is look at what all the employees of a company look like to see how welcoming they are. If you took a picture of every employee and laid it out on a wall, would there be any considerable variance between photos? Do most employees look a certain way, believe in a particular religion, or have other things in common that are in too high concentration for a coincidence? This means there's a high likelihood that your workplace is discriminatory in its hiring procedures. That's not good for anyone since differences in thought and background matter in all business decisions, and everyone deserves an equal chance at work.

Worthy Employees Get Passed Over For Seemingly No Reason

When you’re with a company for a while, you likely expect to be promoted at some point, especially when you have all the right qualifications. However, this might not be the case at companies that discriminate against certain employees. Seeing who gets promoted and who doesn’t could give you some insight as to how a company treats its employees. Are there employees who have worked at this business for an extended period but haven't been offered any promotion or raise? Although some employees may choose to say in lower-stress roles, many are never given the option to climb the corporate ladder. If you notice that a few worthy employees get passed over for promotions or ignored when it's time for raises, there's an issue here. This is most commonly seen with employees with disabilities or employees of protected status. It's not okay.

Employees Leave Quickly

One of the most obvious ways to tell if employees are getting harassed or discriminated against is by looking at the turnover rate. Although this rate can also show if an employer mistreats or abuses their employees, it's also a red flag for discrimination cases. Of course, discrimination may not be the only reason for people leaving, but seeing that many employees leave the company frequently is often a sign that there’s a problem and something you shouldn’t ignore.

Employees who don't feel like their work is valued or aren't respected are more likely to leave quickly. When skilled employees can’t move up due to them being part of a certain demographic, there is no reason for them to spend their time working for a company that doesn’t allow them to succeed. These work environments can also be extremely toxic and hostile, so some employees may not feel safe or comfortable staying there any longer. If there's a high turnover rate, and the business is only hemorrhaging one type of person, there's a problem here.

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