In the United States alone, 45% of minority citizens experienced discrimination in the workplace in 2020. Clearly, this figure is too far too high as it means black, Latino, Asian, and LGBTQ+ employees suffer in a place where they should feel safe. Finding an inclusive environment isn’t easy, yet employers’ changing attitudes and great strides can help you feel secure at work.
Finding an Inclusive Environment
Find People You Identify With
One of the most accessible and most beneficial routes you can use to grow and experience the world is seeking those you most identify with. For instance, as a young gay or ethnic person, navigating the early years of your adult life can be challenging. Finding friends in your group offers a great support system. For example, as a gay woman, you might feel comfortable talking with someone on a chat line (https://thechatlinenumbers.com/lesbian) who can offer support. However, social media also provides groups to join and a place to voice your thoughts.
Measure Your Workplace Community
Where you work should feel as safe as your home. Unfortunately, for some minorities, this isn’t the case. Jokes, bullying, and harassment are some of the challenges we all face at work. But in some cases, your employer may shun diversity at an institutional level. Indications of an unwelcome workplace include:
- Not valuing minority employees
- An undiverse decision-making system
- An unwelcome feeling when working with senior staff
Therefore, you might do yourself a favor by looking for a job elsewhere or raising concerns with community groups.
Recognize Differences in Others
Of course, recognizing everyone and respecting differences is an advantage for inclusivity. Just as you may feel different as an ethnic minority, so does a gay man or a transgender woman. Acceptance is an excellent first step towards driving inclusivity in all environments and challenging racism. Treating everyone how you would like to be treated is the first step. In turn, you can do your community an excellent service by helping others to do the same. We can only move forward when we understand and respect each others’ differences.
However, you or someone around you may be mistreated in a given situation or at work. Religious beliefs, sexuality, and gender identification are common reasons for someone to suffer abuse. In almost all cases of hate crime, people simply don’t understand the life of someone else. As a minority, you are advantageous from an educational perspective. You can challenge small-minded misconceptions to inform others. For instance, not all homosexual men are feminine, while being Muslim doesn’t make you a terrorist.
Communicate Mindfully and Respectfully
Should you wish to inform others and shine a light on disrespectful stereotypes, you should do so in a respectful manner, mindful of others. Listen to what others have to say, and explain where they are wrong. Try not to talk over others and do everything possible to avoid an escalation into a shouting match. You can also be an example of including and treating others from diverse backgrounds. For instance, avoid using gender-specific terms such as “guys” or “ladies and gentlemen,” which instantly dismisses someone’s self-identification.