Discrimination in the Workplace

Being tasked with this assignment feels almost reflective in a way. It makes you think back on your life and how you have been living it and makes you evaluate whether you have been letting systemic injustice slide in your day-to-day life. Or whether you have blindly been leading the act of systemic injustice without knowing it. I just recently learned the true definition of systemic injustice and it is broader than I imagined; “is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.”

When scrolling through twitter and various other social media platforms, I always come across posts about people being denied the opportunity to work for a company solely because of the color of their skin. After seeing countless posts, I decided to look up articles on this topic. I found that black unemployment rates have been consistently twice as much as whites no matter if the economy is going up or down (DeSilver). It also does not make a difference if the job applicant has a college degree or not, the statistics remain. Another shocking statistic is that job applicants with white-sounding names get called back about 50% more of the time than applicants with Black-sounding names (Bertand).

This classified as systemic injustice because it is something that is usually overlooked and is embedded into our normal practice but is actually issues as discrimination. A way to try to fix the injustice going on within the employment side of things would be to have more diversity within the workplace. Allow the same treatment for all races and regardless of names and backgrounds, judge applicants on their resumes and qualifications for a job, not by their races.

This type of systemic injustice reminds me of the De Beauvoir’s one/other theory from our course’s content. No matter the color of someone’s skin, they should be given equal opportunity to a job position. Sadly, in our society, Black applicants in this case would be labeled as the “other” where white applicants would be labeled as the “one”. Change has to happen at a large level for this issue to be resolved and that way all races can be seen as equal and they can receive equal opportunity for jobs that everyone deserves.

A visual representation of people experiencing discrimination. https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2019/12/10/putting-some-numbers-on-racism-in-canada/

*Some more good reads on interesting stories within the workplace that represent discrimination*

Fighting hair discrimination in Florida, lawmakers work to pass legislation

Black women and men share their experiences wearing natural hair in the workplace



Black electrical worker files discrimination lawsuit

March 12, 2021


References for written portion:

DeSilver, Drew. “Black Unemployment Rate Is Consistently Twice That of Whites.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 27 Aug. 2020, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/08/21/through-good-times-and-bad-black-unemployment-is-consistently-double-that-of-whites/.

Bertrand, Marianne, and Sendhil Mullainathan. “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” NBER, 28 July 2003, www.nber.org/papers/w9873.

4 thoughts on “Discrimination in the Workplace

  1. It is very sad to see these statistics in the workplace and how much discrimination plays a role in determining if you get a job or not. I heard about the lawsuit of the electrical worker earlier this month and even reading about it on that article, it says that he was the only black on the five-person crew, which displays what you are saying in this showcase that Black Americans are less likely to be hired than white Americans. There needs to be a change in the hiring process to implement more diverse employees.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post and actually was very intrigued by the part in which you discuss the likelihood of one being called back based on the sound of their name and whether or not it sounds like a “Black name.” It’s really upsetting that these actions are still happening in 2021. Reading your post made me recall a time when I did a research project about implicit bias in education. Through this project, I discovered studies that were conducted to see how teachers grade students of color on their work based solely on their names. One study that was conducted found that students who turned in identical work but had a stereotypical “Black name” received poorer grades than the other students who weren’t given these names. It was mind blowing to me, and the results of the study were due to implicit bias. Teachers couldn’t explicitly say that they favored White students’ work over Black students’ work but their actions said otherwise. It’s unfortunate, and every person should work to become aware of their implicit biases so as to avoid discrimination in the workplace and everywhere else.

  3. Thank you for providing more insightful information on this topic. Over the last year, the events that have happened in the United States have not only opened my eyes, but also the eyes of many other ignorant people. I think this is an important post for everyone to read to shed light on the struggles some different races go through. What kind of companies do you think mostly perform these kinds of acts? Corporations? Small businesses?

  4. This post was very important in our showcase along with you highlighting the discrimination that goes on in the work place with Black Americans, it saddens my hearts to read some of the statistics and how much discrimination really does take place at work. Over this past year alone, we have seen discrimination take place throughout our country which has opened the eyes to many people, you touching on this will also open the eyes to others as well!

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