Eradicating racial discrimination in the workplace 

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Health Assured team

18 March 2022

One in eight of the UK's working population are from ethnic minorities. Despite government legislation and increased education about racism, it continues to persist, both inside—and outside—of the workplace. 

The lack of workplace diversity is just the start of the problem. Discrimination in the workplace seeps in, in the form of microaggressions all the way through to harassment. 

Awareness of racial discrimination is increasing. The next step is to take action that attributes to real workplace change. As with all change, it is most impactful when it comes from the top. So if you’re an employer, ensure you’re doing all you can to support employees from ethnic minorities and create a culture of trust that embraces all employees

Below, you'll find some key steps to help you eradicate racial discrimination in the workplace. 


Have the important conversations 

Don’t avoid important conversations for fear of saying the wrong thing. Lead by example. Encourage your people to speak up about discrimination by having those important conversations. Even if you need external help to provide a presentation or education piece on diversity.

It’s important to play your role in addressing workplace stigma around racism. Communicate your zero-tolerance approach to employees. This will help you set the standard for acceptable behaviour in the workplace. 


Create an inclusion policy 

An inclusion policy helps establish your approach to racial discrimination. It might not be a legal obligation for businesses to have such a policy. But it helps set best practices for HR staff and managers dealing with these kinds of incidents.

In your policy, you can lay out actions, documentation procedures and the disciplinary process—should such an incident take place. You may also wish to include the steps your organisation has taken to prevent such events from occurring.


Hire a diverse workforce 

Create a culture that welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, genders and ages. Challenge current inequalities in employment and provide equal opportunities for all.

You can do this by ensuring job specifications are inclusive, interview panels are as diverse as possible, and managers are trained in unconscious biases that may be operating beyond their awareness. 


Educate employees

Two-thirds of employees from ethnic minorities said they had experienced racial harassment or bullying at work in the last five years. This mistreatment highlights the need for education.

When employees are properly informed about unconscious biases, microaggressions and the prevalence of racism, it helps to eliminate conflicts. You can offer resources to employees, hold training sessions or presentations on the topic. 


Lead by example

Encourage senior leaders to adopt attitudes of acceptance. Let them lead by example by openly addressing the topic in front of colleagues. If you can get senior leaders on board with your discrimination strategy, then you raise the importance of the topic to employees.

If you are a senior leader, recognise the influence you have on the culture of your organisation. Communicating these attitudes to employees regularly will help reinforce your organisation's zero-tolerance approach to discrimination. 


Health Assured can help you eradicate racial discrimination in the workplace

Our wellbeing experts can help you take steps towards equality in the workplace and eradicate racial discrimination. Get in touch today on:

UK: 0844 892 2493 

ROI: 01 886 0324 



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