Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in the Workplace

discrimination-wordleWe’ve all heard plenty about prejudices against minorities.  I’m not trying to belittle those issues but there are plenty of other prejudices out there that are going to affect you.  Everyone talks about discrimination against blacks, Hispanics, women and LGBT but as someone entering the work force you are going to face prejudices that you never thought about.

Are you over-weight?  Do you wear glasses?  Are you pregnant?  Are you a member of one of the lesser known religions?  Are you pretty?  Are you ugly?  Are you blond?  Are you too old?  Are you too young?  You may be saying those things have nothing to do with how well you can do the job and you would be absolutely correct but prejudices don’t take into consideration how well you do the job either.

Someone in the hiring process is going to judge us.  If we get hired, someone in our supervisory chain is going to judge us.  When we do our job, our supervisor is going to judge us.  We don’t know their likes and dislikes.  I had a conversation with a man who said being overweight was like someone who had bad hygiene.  We don’t accept bad hygiene so why should we accept overweight?  I am so glad that person was never in charge of anyone.  He would never have told his subordinate it was their weight that was holding them back but he sure as heck would have discriminated against them because of it.

People have prejudices and they’re not all about the color of our skin, our gender or who we choose as a partner.  No matter who you are there will be someone somewhere who doesn’t like you or something about you.  You have no idea how often you may have been discriminated against and just didn’t know it.  Discrimination affects all of us and it’s important that we show in our speech and actions that we do not condone it.  The only things that should matter is if you can do the job and if you are the best qualified candidate.