Encouraging Employers to Tackle Systemic Racism in the Workplace

After many, many years, the United States is finally addressing racism issues in law enforcement. It’s a good start, but we shouldn’t stop there. There are still so many people who suffer from racial discrimination on a daily basis.

The workplace, for example, is one of the places where people of color, especially Black and Asian Americans are discriminated against and trampled on every day. Systemic racism is when employers tend to value White employees more, causing devastating consequences to many Black, Asian, Hispanic, and other minority  Americans.

Another case of systemic racism is when applicants with American-sounding names are given priority over those with foreign-sounding names. Research also shows that darker-skinned applicants have a great disadvantage when applying for a job. There are  even reports of White people with criminal records who were hired over Blacks, Asians, and other minority populations with no record.

What’s even worse is that systemic discrimination doesn’t stop when a Black, Asian, or other minority is hired. Racial biases can still be felt over wages and chances of a promotion. Black and Asian employees are generally making less than White colleagues. As if that is not enough, during this pandemic – a time of economic uncertainty – people of color believe that they are the last to be hired and first to be laid off across industries.

Public-facing jobs are given to Black and Asian Americans, while White Americans are allowed to work remotely, leaving the former in the crosshairs of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an analysis, people of color are virtually 2.5 times more likely to be affected by this global health crisis.

So how does society, especially workplaces, combat systemic discrimination?

Hold Everyone Accountable

If people know that they are being watched, the likelihood of these racial biases can be lessened by a great deal. Surveys and affinity groups can gather information on how rampant systemic racism is in the workplace. The valuable data gathered can be used to assess a company’s progress towards eliminating discrimination in their organization.

Think Long Term 

Systemic racism is structural and has been ingrained in society and workplaces for decades. To ensure success, companies should conduct audits to look for signs of racism or segregation so that HR can include the data in their periodic reports. This can help organizations formulate actions that will eliminate or at least minimize systemic racism eventually.

How Safe Haven Dialogues Can Help 

Employees who have been traumatized or terrorized due to systemic racism can seek professional help from Safe Haven Dialogues. We can help your company’s HR department reframe your organization to help potential victims deal with the adverse effects of discrimination, as well as learn to be agents of change themselves.

Contact us today for more information.


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