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Eliminating Discrimination In The Workplace: Is It Possible?

3205 words - 13 pages

Eliminating Discrimination in the Workplace: Is it Possible?

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 (Ramasubramanian, 2010). 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 because one doesn’t determine the other. 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 and the Title VII (Phillips, 2013; Hirsh & Lyons, 2010): 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 members of different groups one necessarily cannot identify with, arise in many occasions (Baron & Branscombe, 2012). 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 racial and ethnic groups because they are all left to compete against the other (Weaver, 2011, p. 2723). Indeed, research confirms that competition allows for prejudice feelings to occur between the in-groups and the out-groups (Bobo & Fox, 2003; Dixon et al., 2010). 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, due to this, prejudice feelings and differences become more evident (Ramasubramanian, 2010). One of the most common theories that explain why prejudice persists today, as it relates to the workplace, is called realistic...

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