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Monday, 27th March 2017
 

BE CAREFUL

 

In an age of political correctness, to use the 'RACISM' word, especially in a professional work environment, could sound bizarre. Far from the organisation rushing to the victim for help and support, the managers and leaders often gang up and 'cannot understand what all the fuss is about'. In this very penetrating analysis of the complexity of racism at work, outstanding anthropological scholars, Roger Ballard and Parveen explain how problems are dealt with in practice, and show how lonely the whole struggle can be for the victim. You can read their article in full in the resources link on this page.

In Britain, as in countries where organisational leaders and parameters are designed by one predominant culture, racism is common and at the same time, difficult to prove, making it a very lonely and victimising experience should a victim decide to complain.

 The employer does not have to pay a huge price, and often carries on as normal, as the victims resign or leave before they complain. Even where the victims go to tribunal, the cases are settled out of court, so there is contractual confidentiality and reputation is protected. Often, the leaders and perpetrators continue their behaviour, and there is little reform of the organisation and its processes.

For professional work environments, there is a very prompt and strong denial of racism, as bosses believe that they are open minded and would never even think of doing such a thing. Sadly, the reality is that the leaders and managers often have no clue or empathy about what it means to be different and to be a minority, nor to suffer in silence without power. The equality legislation protects the victim, but its justice is often too little, too late for so many people.

 

Article added on 15th February 2010 at 8:39pm
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Related Articles

PRACTICAL TIPS - Under UK law, employees have significant rights in the event of a dispute or a problem.

INSTITUTIONAL RACISM - When the structures of an organisation are inherently discriminatory, we have racism that is institutionalised. It can only be removed by dismantling prejudicial structures.

Related Resources

RACISM IN PRACTICE - An excellent research article about how racism manifests itself in the workplace, and how it is often denied by the perpetrators who team up against the alleged victim.

EQUALITY ACT 2010 - This is a very useful practical guide on the implications of the Act.

Diane Bebbington - A research report by Leadership Foundation on Diversity and Equality in Higher Education in the UK

WORK FOUNDATION - An excellent survey of best practice and research on diversity, with recommendations for culture change and practical strategies.