Racial Discrimination in the Workforce


Social problems are hitches or issues that may affect people either directly or indirectly. Social problems are largely related to moral values. Day by day, the social problems seem to occur more frequently. Some of the main social problems that frequently happen in todays world are rape, kidnap, crime, drug abuse, poverty, marginalization, prostitution, pollution, and racism. The main social problem that will be discussed in this paper is racial discrimination in the workforce.

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination is unequal treatment of people on the basis of their color, ethnicity or race. Racial discrimination at work often happens due to the ignorance and stubbornness of a certain group of people who feel superior to other races. They try to bring down the pride and image of other races in order to feel pleased and satisfied with their own races. Racial discrimination in the workforce can be exhibited in various forms and some can be obvious. Nevertheless, racial discrimination can be elusive and hard to detect, for example, an employers failure to promote or hire an individual because of their race.


Racial Discrimination as a Social Problem

Numerous surveys have been carried out on African Americans and other races about their familiarities with discrimination at their work places. A survey conducted in the year 2001 found out that more than a third of Asians, Hispanics, and blacks had personally been denied a promotion or a job because of their ethnicity or race. Discrimination cause one to have anxiety and depression, hence leading to reduced performance or effort in the workforce. Moreover, it can lead to coworker dissatisfaction and a high increase in harassment tolerance in the organization. Furthermore, it is linked to limited career advancement and less effective work relationships between colleagues and supervisors. Audits carried out concentrating on hiring decisions have unswervingly found evidence of racial discrimination; the white preference was estimated to range from fifty to two hundred percent. According to Wilson white names had a 50% higher rate than that of blacks of being called back after sending their resumes. It further showed that improving the qualifications only benefited the white applicants only, thus a wider racial gap was experienced in response rates for people with higher skill.

Additionally, looking at racial discrimination in the functionalism view, it must have served a significant function for it to exist for as long as it has. It goes without saying that this concept is problematic. This is because there is no way racial discrimination can have positive contributions to the society. Sociologists who are of the functionalism perspective claim that racial discrimination does have positive contributions, but they are limited to the dominant group. Racist views benefit people who think their race is superior to others and thus deny them their rights and privileges; in the long run, racial discrimination harms society. Further on, symbolic interactionists claim that racial discrimination is formed by interactions of the dominant group. The stereotypes that a certain race is better than the rest have always been conveyed in the media. Thus, some people grow up believing that they are superior to others which and that is not the case.

Racial discrimination can be hard to detect, thus, there should be regulation of some subtle and complex forms of discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination should be conceptualized in relations to workplace dynamics rather than an individuals perception of their work environment. Modern racial discrimination might occur through unconscious manner related to stereotyping and prejudice. Prejudice reflects negative feelings and evaluations towards members of another group especially a minority racial group. A stereotype is a conviction about the characteristics and nature of a group. For instance, some believe that Blacks are lazy and Asians are smart. Since majority groups hold rigid stereotypes regarding minority group members, dissimilarities between groups are habitually exaggerated and their similarities minimized. Therefore, this presents limited opportunities for individuals to alter their negative stereotypes and prejudices. Such prejudice and stereotypes are what result in racial discrimination in the workforce. Research carried out has revealed that racial discrimination in the workforce comes from various people such as coworkers, clients, superiors, and supervisors.

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Solutions to Racial Discrimination

There are many possible solutions that can be applied to eliminate racial discrimination in the workforce. One solution is awareness; organizations should be formed whose main duty would be to create awareness. These organizations should be open to people who are willing to partake in fighting for equality for all. These organizations should then visit schools and educate the students on the detriments of racial discrimination. They should also be told how racial discrimination started and the bad experiences of those who faced it. They should be encouraged to stop this act of racial discrimination, and instead they should be given a chance to brainstorm on how to curb it.

Additionally, both the minority and the majority groups should be educated on racial discrimination. People should avoid stereotypes, for example, when one meets a person they dont like, then they should be open to watch, accept, learn, and tolerate. People should be open to learn from other cultures as this will enhance better relations. Furthermore, parents should teach their children on the negative impact that racial discrimination has. Children learn from the adults hence it is important to teach them that all people are equal regardless of their skin color. When children grow free from racism, they will be fair people in the workplace once they are mature enough.

Moreover, people should be content with what they have; they should stop being envious of what they cannot possess. Envying leads to covetousness which makes people pursue dubiously what they want. Through envy, one may spread false rumors about another race. One may intimidate others to make them feel superior to cover up for what they dont have. World powers have ruthlessly and tactfully dominated other nations resources through intimidation. This is the same tact that majority races use to feel superior to the minority ones. It is further advised that people should not do things out of fear since fear can intimidate one to do anything. Fear destroys the ability to think rationally and coherently. Fear is the heart of racism; fear of completion, fear of the unknown and fear of failure. People should be determined to learn about each other instead of being afraid; by learning about each other, there will be respect and understanding and no one will look down upon the other.


In summary, despite organizations being required to eliminate racial discrimination in the workforce, it persists with substantial costs to co-workers and the organizations. An organization stands to gain much once it has learnt how to reduce and manage racial discrimination. Organizations that have been able to effectively support and integrate workplace diversity stand a chance of experiencing many positive benefits such as improved employee productivity and retention. It is evident that most of the racial discrimination is between the Black and White employees. The White employees often get preferential treatment whereby, they are promoted and hired while the Blacks miss out. Therefore, it is important to curb discrimination in the workforce for the organization to reach its full potential. It is important for employees to be mentored and to receive equal treatment in the workforce. Organization should also develop training programs and policies that tackle multiple forms of harassment and discrimination.

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