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Nurturing inclusivity

Nurturing inclusivity: how to tackle workplace discrimination with a helping hand from HR

In the realm of HR, where people are at the heart of everything we do, addressing workplace discrimination is not just a task, but a commitment to creating a workplace that's genuinely welcoming for all.

We’re here to delve into the intricate world of workplace discrimination from an HR perspective, exploring its nuances, impact, and how HR can take proactive steps to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity.

Before we look at how we can change things, we first need to understand workplace discrimination. It’s like a puzzle with many pieces, affecting individuals based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability and more. In order for everyone to feel valued and heard within a workplace, these differences need to not only be recognised, but celebrated.

Workplace discrimination includes:

- Gender discrimination, with unequal pay and opportunities based on gender, or stereotyping and biases related to traditional gender roles.

- Racial discrimination, where there is prejudice and bias based on race or ethnicity, or microaggressions and racial profiling.

- Age discrimination, where a team member may experience unfair treatment as a result of their age, or stereotyping based on generational differences.

- Sexual orientation discrimination, where someone faces harassment or bias based on their sexual orientation, or a lack of inclusivity for LGBTQ+ employees.

- Disability discrimination, where employees with disabilities are unfairly treated or excluded, or when the workplace environment is inaccessible.

Discrimination can have a ripple effect, potentially leading to a toxic workplace environment, negatively impacting morale and overall productivity. It can also contribute to higher staff turnover rates and difficulties in attracting diverse talent, and ultimately, if it isn’t addressed, it can even result in legal consequences, including lawsuits and damage to an organisation’s reputation.
So, how can you address workplace discrimination and stop it from escalating?
Your HR team holds a key role here, starting with policy development. HR should actively participate in crafting and implementing comprehensive anti-discrimination policies. Training is also important, with HR regularly conducting diversity and inclusion training to raise awareness and educate employees about unconscious biases. HR can even help you to promote diversity and inclusion, actively working with you to celebrate people’s differences at all levels of the organisation.
Should employees need to report incidents of discrimination, they need clear channels for this that HR can help with, ensuring confidentiality and a swift resolution in every instance. It’s also important for any complaints to be promptly investigated and the appropriate action taken, including disciplinary measures if necessary.
Workplace discrimination is a challenge, but with the right policies, training and procedures in place to actively address and prevent it, you’ll be well on your way. With a great HR team in your corner, you have the opportunity to create a culture of equality, and an inclusive, diverse and harmonious workplace.

If you aren’t sure how to implement this in your company, speak to us about how we can help you. Get in touch

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