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Racial Discrimination In Canada's Workplace Essay

1767 words - 7 pages

Racial discrimination in the workplace has been a persistent theme in Canada’s history as well as present-day times. The occurrence of actions and attitudes that impose a sense of one being less equal than another on the basis of one’s race in Canada’s workplace inhibits both our nation’s ability to move forward as well as strengthen unification within our country. The belief in a more egalitarian society, where one’s race and ethnic background have little to no impact on employees (or potential employees) standings within the job market, would seemingly be reinforced by the majority of Canadians, who consistently show support for Canada’s multicultural identity. Couple that with the noticeable strides Canada has made in the past several decades through legislation, in order to eliminate discriminatory practices and actions within the workplace, and one would likely assume that racial discrimination within the workplace is largely a concern of the past. However, current research supports the argument that the level of which racial discrimination occurs today is increasing, and as such it persists to be a key problem in the current workplace of the nation. In the workplace, racial discrimination is often seen with regard to uneven access to jobs, unfair selection and promotion criteria (as well as access to the means in order to meet this criteria), and workplace harassment. This paper compares similar findings of two articles; the first, Racial inequality in employment in Canada, as was published in the Canadian Public Administration (CPA), and the second, What Are Immigrants’ Experiences of Discrimination in the Workplace?, published by the Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative (TIEDI).

One of the main structural barriers that immigrants and native-born members of visible minorities face in the workplace is uneven access to jobs and sustentation of said jobs. Regardless of data showing that people of visible minorities in Canada has nearly tripled within the past two decades (Al-Waqfi & Jain, 2008), the prejudicial attitudes towards those of the visible minority population are very much alive throughout the Canadian workforce today and unfortunately, such attitudes often result in unfair treatment of those individuals pertaining to the reality of their actual eligibility opportunities when it comes to the job market and employment. Two cases detailed in the CPA article help to illustrate how overt discrimination based on one’s race limits their access to job opportunities that are otherwise available to people of more traditional racial backgrounds (such as Caucasians), as well as one’s ability to sustain employment in such jobs when prejudicial attitudes are held. In one, a young Iran refugee who arrived in Canada was informed that the traffic controller position for which he was apply for was already filled, even though he had phoned within the acceptable time period, as was outlined by the company (Al-Waqfi & Jain, 2008). The reality...

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