A new survey by the Resolution Foundation think-tank has shown that as a nation, we still have some work to do when it comes to tackling discrimination in the workplace.
Of those surveyed, 20% of 18-65 year olds reported experiencing discrimination of some sort over the past year – with discrimination based on age or sex being the most common. However, 21% of those surveyed said they experienced discrimination based solely on their ethnic background, while 15% reportedly experienced discrimination based on a disability.
The survey also found that for those on low to medium salaries, seeking retribution through legal channels can be financially prohibitive. This results in people suffering in silence or moving jobs without getting redress for their experience.
So what can you do if you have experienced discrimination are not in a position to legally fight it?
You may not be in a position to legally fight the experience, but that doesn’t mean that you need to remain silent. Document your treatment compared to others’. Keep a record of dates and times and outcomes, and when speaking up, try to stick to facts and avoid becoming emotional. Difficult to do, but oftentimes facts are the only argument you have when facing discrimination, as those who carry out the acts are indifferent to their behaviour.
Outside of the obvious consequences of discrimination, it can also become incredibly disheartening to constantly fight harder for the same opportunities, and over time, it can chip away at your confidence.
One way to try and ensure you remain confident in the workplace is to focus on your strengths. What do you know you do well? What areas have you excelled at? If it helps, keep track of achievements. This will not only help your confidence but will also be on hand to help you update your CV should you decide to look for another role.
As soon as you realise you’re being discriminated against or are unlikely to make progress with your current employer, and your grievances aren’t being addressed professionally, it’s time to take your skills elsewhere.
There are plenty of employers who have established programmes and schemes to actively tackle discrimination in the workplace, several of which are currently advertising opportunities now. We’ve selected three of the most progressive below, all of which are known for their pioneering approach to diversity and inclusion, but there are plenty more on the Alt A Review Job Board too.
The British Heart Foundation is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce, but also to ongoing research which will help eradicate healthcare inequalities. Their progress is being reflected in its hiring policies, with 8% of internal promotions in 2021 being to people from ethnic backgrounds, as was 15% of its external hires. The British Heart Foundation is currently hiring for a number of roles, including Senior Policy Officer for research and Senior Policy Officer for health inequalities. Explore all available opportunities at the British Heart Foundation.
The Met prides itself on being the most diverse police force in the UK, with over half of its workforce being female and 13% from a Black and Minority Ethnic background. It has also introduced its STRIDE programme, which focuses on four programmes for protection, engagement, equality and learning, and the 16 commitments within them, with a view to ensuring a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Explore all available roles with the Met Police.
ITV is not only one of the UK’s most celebrated and innovative media houses, it has also introduced progressive hiring policies that ensure all voices and backgrounds are represented across its offerings and its staffing. Its Diversity Acceleration Plan has seen an improvement in the diversity of its senior management and leadership teams as well as in the cast of its programmes and crew. ITV is currently hiring for a number of roles across all areas, including opportunities for a Business Data and Analyst, Talent Coordinator and Solutions Architect. Not quite what you were looking for? Browse all the available roles at ITV.
By Aisling O’Toole