It is impossible to imagine a world where we are separated. Workplace diversity is highly beneficial for everyone. It increases productivity, marketing opportunities, and creativity among employees. Cultural awareness and exposure to different opinions make you more flexible and successful.
But, if it is so good, why do people still experience these career struggles? Racism and sexism have often stood in the way of someone’s promotion or higher salary. It is as relevant as ever for many job seekers.
The job search process is not the only part of someone being subjected to unfair conditions. Applicant tracking systems often filter the perfect CV just because of the incorrect keywords. To avoid this problem, one can look for “write my resume for me” assistance available due to the best online resume writing services that polishes your application. Help from qualified writers can increase your chances to land an interview and get a job.
How do racism and sexism end up in the workplace? How to recognize them and take appropriate actions to combat the injustices in the job market? For some people, the topic is a slippery slope because it is hard to prove that prejudices were the reason for someone’s rejection. It is important to recognize the issue and address it for the benefit of everyone.
Some Important Definitions
- Discrimination is defined as intentional or unintentional exclusion, denying benefits, and imposing burdens on a person based on prejudice. It also describes the forms of micro-aggression (verbal or behavioral), including stereotyping or hostile attitudes toward someone based on their gender, sex, or race.
- Racism is a form of discrimination based on a person’s race or ethnicity.
- Sexism is a form of discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender.
A Brief History of Fight for Equal Rights
The first visible participation of women in the workforce coincided with the Industrial Revolution. 1765 was the year the earliest working women’s society, the Daughters of Liberty was established.
Within four years, women in America were banned from saving their earnings and owning property. Still, women could work, but they had nothing to sustain themselves. For several decades, women had to strike and challenge the authority to demand recognition in many occupations.
However, racism and sexism have a long history going hand in hand. Women standing for other discriminated communities began with the abolition movement in the 1830s. It was about the shared experiences and striving to get equal opportunities with their male counterparts.
It is hard to imagine that only a hundred years ago, the Equal Rights Amendment was adopted. The fight for equality, according to history, is the dance. You take one step ahead and two steps back.
The reason why women still have to fight for their rights is that old stereotypes die hard. Women are expected to choose family over career, they are perceived as less qualified, and we all know harmful stories about “being too emotional.”
There is still a lot of work to do towards diversity and equal rights, even though the fight has continued for a century.
How Racism and Sexism Impacts Women?
Lack of Self-Actualization
One of the basic human needs is to self-actualize and build a meaningful career. A hostile environment and exclusion of women hold them back from professional growth. Four-in-ten (42%) of working women in the US experience sexism every day. Many women don’t land a job due to an unspecified reason from recruiters.
Emotional, Physical, or Mental Health Issues
A hostile workplace creates a stressful environment that can cause
- low self-esteem;
- isolation from colleagues;
- isolation from a peer group, friends, or family;
- mental health and substance abuse issues;
- feelings of paranoia, anger, or fear.
The psychological and well-being effects of sexism and racism are less discussed because of the stigma. However, they are one of the most common reasons why some women leave their career fields (for instance, tech).
The most evident effect of these prejudices is seen in salary differences. A pay gap is an economic disadvantage for many women of color, especially if they are the providers for their families. White women also experience a significant wage gap in comparison to their male counterparts in the same positions.
Lack of Representation
The glass ceiling benefits only one group of people. Many women don’t look for higher positions because they feel discouraged to pursue them in the first place.
The lack of diversity at CEO positions and higher-level jobs harms industries. It results in failing businesses and missed opportunities to expand and strengthen enterprises. Diversity and positive representation only benefit businesses.
How to Combat Discrimination?
It is important to find a support group that can help you stand for yourself or your colleagues. It is crucial to have proof of harassment or discrimination, and being precise is a must.
Every person has a right to work in a safe, discriminatory-free environment. You also have a right to stand for yourself and your colleagues, demanding fair judgment. At the same time, you should know the federal law that promises you protection from race and gender discrimination.
You can file a grievance, picket or protest your employer, or file a complaint to a government agency. For instance, opt for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Racism and sexism are frowned upon by many, but some things are still present in workplaces. Every day, women work twice as hard for their accomplishments and success, and they deserve recognition. It is important to demand people’s accountability and break the cycle of unfair treatment of women in workplaces.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.