How To Raise Your Voice Against Office Discrimination

5 Mins Read Deepanwita Dey 19 Oct 2023

It is a sad reality, but a reality indeed! Coming to the 21st century with such scientific discoveries talking about how similar homo-homo sapiens are, we are still dealing with discrimination. Especially in a place of occupation (…where we spend more than 8 hours of our day).

Office politics and colleague bullying are at their highest peak now. We are sorry to say that, as a corporate culture, we are quite uncultured when it comes to acceptance. Especially over something which people have no control over.

Yes, I am talking about the different types of discrimination that people go through on a daily basis at their workplace, whether it is their ethnicity which is somehow dictating their worth. Or their gender, which determines their capability. Or stagnation of a promotion because you are “too young for this position.”

Our workplace demands efficiency and yet throws a blind eye towards these scenes of discrimination. Well, not anymore!

You always have a voice to raise and a mind to take action!

Do you know how? Here is how you can raise your voice and take action against discrimination.

What Is Discrimination?

It is an action to take unfair and prejudiced action against someone based on a vicious social stereotype. Some examples of discrimination are women not being given a higher job post because they are emotional beings. Or believing that an individual of African-American descent could only be the one with a criminal record.

Types Of Discrimination

Types Of Discrimination
Caption: Audism, a form of discrimination based on disability.

Here are the different types of institutional discrimination which you should be aware of, especially subtle microaggression in office:

  • Age Discrimination: When a senior judges a junior’s capability because of their age.
  • Disability Discrimination: When it is believed that someone’s physical discrimination derails their mental capability.
  • Sexual Discrimination: When a corporation judges someone’s skill based on their sexual orientation.
  • Religious Discrimination: Discrimination in office based on their religious preferences.
  • Nationality Discrimination: Discrimination based on someone’s country, especially if they just moved from another country to work.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination: When one judges a pregnant person or a mother’s skills to complete their work, i.e. assuming that they wouldn’t be able to take the responsibility.
  • How To Raise Your Voice Against Office Discrimination
  • Gender-Based Discrimination: Capability of a woman judged due to their gender or Emotional Intelligence, i.e. they are not logical enough to handle a task.

Raising A Voice Against Discrimination

Here are some of the best ways you can raise your voice against discrimination and help the aggrieved person at the same time.

1. Gather Knowledge

Gather Knowledge
Caption: Learn about different cultural diversity to speak about it.

Raising your voice without knowing the proper legal matter and rights can be fruitless for you. Plus, it can prove fatal for the person you are speaking for. This is why gathering Knowledge is more important if you wish to make a point.

Try to read more about the numbers, statistics, and kinds of discrimination which are going around in different workplaces. How their pattern matches with the one you are working for, and the legal consequences against it. If required, take assistance from discrimination lawyers to know about the subject matter from a legal front.

2. Get Comfortable With Not Being Liked

Get Comfortable With Not Being Liked
Caption: It is okay if you are not liked

When we first join an organization, we love to befriend everyone. Especially the one who is in a more advantageous position than us. That is indeed human nature to be everyone’s favorite. However, it is not necessary to also be comfortable with not being liked. If you are always trying to be a “Yes Man” and please the likes of everyone, you might never be able to raise your voice against anyone.

Especially the senior management who are indulging in discriminating behavior towards a hard-working colleague of yours.

3. Think About Your Language

Caption: Every conflict has a way to convey, even workplace discrimination.

When we ask everyone to raise their voice against any injustice, we do not mean literally raising your voice to your maximum pitch. Rather, keeping it professional when speaking about discrimination will help you the most.

It is all about making the right statement and using the right language. If you are calm and able to present your point without losing your own emotional bandwidth, people will be more interested in listening.

As Aristotle once said,

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

– Aristotle, Greek Philosopher.

When speaking against discrimination, the ability to showcase your anger in the right way is what makes all the discrimination.

4. Have Your Facts Straight

Have Your Facts Straight

Do not go up to HR with a rumor you heard and start charging. First, get your facts in place. Remember, the world runs on solid proofs, and unless you are able to provide one, your case doesn’t stand a chance.

That being said, we are not saying to ignore any workplace discrimination rumor. Rather, take some time to verify the contents of such a rumor. Sometimes, it is a case of vicious microaggression. But, it could also be a simple misunderstanding between two parties.

You wouldn’t want to take a misunderstanding as a serious case, as it may make you a less credible source from now on.

5. Talk To Your HR First

Talk To Your HR First
Caption: Before you take any action against discrimination talk to HR first

When you have a strong suspicion against a workplace discrimination case, always go to HR first. Taking up the matter and letting them know about it makes them aware. With this, they can begin their investigation regarding the said person.

However, you also have to keep a closer eye on where the case went after your complaint. Are the HRs taking action, or are you still seeing the action being repeated? If there is repetition, you have every right to raise a more stern voice.

Protecting The Aggrieved One

Amidst all the rising voices against workplace discrimination, you shouldn’t forget one important detail: you are responsible for protecting the aggrieved individual in the workplace. Whether you saw them facing the issue or they simply confided with you, This is how you can protect them:

  • Ask them to speak to the HR in confidence before you go.
  • Ensure they always have someone to talk to.
  • Encourage them to take video proof if possible.
  • Stand beside them if they are facing an issue on the office floor.
  • If the scenario gets too serious, do not be afraid to advise them to resign.

Your one action can give many the voice to speak up. Never underestimate the power of protest, and always speak up when necessary.

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