Eliminating Discrimination In The Workplace Essay

1989 words - 8 pages

As a business consultant I have been asked to suggest different methods that can possibly reduce discrimination and prejudice in the workplace. Is it possible however to make everyone get along and ignore their differences? According to the growing research on discrimination and prejudice, these are learned behaviors that with practice can be unlearned, and ultimately eliminated (Baron & Branscombe, 2012, p. 195). Discrimination is defined as the negative treatment of different groups: Prejudice, on the other hand is viewed as the negative emotions or attitudes associated with discrimination (Baron & Branscombe, 2012, p. 183). These two terms go hand in hand because they both can lead to racism; however, that is not suggesting that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two. Discrimination in the workplace is not limited to just one thing; in fact, it is found in many occasions such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimization (Phillips, 2013, p. 65). Although there are laws that protect employees and employers against discrimination such as the Equality Act (Phillips, 2013): There are still concerns of discrimination within racial, gender, and social groups, in this case, the main focus will be between Caucasians employers and Hispanics employees (Weaver, 2011, p. 2723). Stereotypes, which are beliefs or schemas of groups and members (Baron & Branscombe, 2012), arise between people one necessarily cannot identify with. By the same token, these stereotypes produce negative attitudes towards one another that can potentially lead to discrimination and prejudice (Jones, 2001).
Research shows that there’s a great disadvantage in the workplace for minorities, thus these differences lead to racial discrimination against lower-status groups (Hirsh & Lyons, 2010). Despite that Hispanics are growing in numbers in the United States, there is also more tension between ethnic groups because they are all left to compete against the other (Weaver, 2011, p. 2723). Many researchers agree that one seems to be closer or more cohesive to their own group and associate a sense of pride for each other; on the other hand, they tend to fear the out-group because they are seen as the competitors, the enemies, and the traitors (Ramasubramanian, 2010; Baron & Branscombe, 2012; Hirsh & Lyons, 2010). Clearly this creates a disconnection between groups which make them feel a sense of threat for one another and prejudice feelings become more evident, while differences between the two appear. One of the most common theories that explain why prejudice persists today, as it relates to the workplace, is called realistic conflict theory (Baron & Branscombe, 2012). This psychological theory states that prejudice is more frequent when competition arises in a situation where there are limited resources that only one group can claim (Bobo, 1983). However, since discrimination is a learned behavior as mentioned earlier, thus one can conclude...

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