Discrimination still exists in the workplace

Among the reasons respondents said they experience discrimination, ethnicity comes first, followed by accent, being a woman’s race, nationality or immigration status, family name and religion. (Photo: [email protected] for Unsplash)

People of color or of immigrant origin continue to experience discrimination in the workplace, even though business needs remain urgent.

A study conducted on behalf of the Observatory on Racial Inequality in Quebec (OIRQ) and published on Wednesday showed that members of minorities face discrimination on a daily basis in their workplace.

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The study in question was specifically conducted with 137 people who said they had experienced racial discrimination.

We do not want to show with this kind of analysis the extent of the phenomenon. We’re not saying that a very large percentage of the population lives under discrimination,” we made sure to explain sociologist Victor Armoni, of UQAM, one of the study’s authors.

We want to show how people express their experience in the workplace when these people are in the minority. We want to know how things are going on a daily basis,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

performance complex

Thus, three-quarters of respondents believe that members of minorities have to put in more effort to acclimatize at work than others, a form of complex functioning of their own. Even more, 72% believe they suffer from the mental burden of being incurable for fear of being punished or even losing their job.

Unsurprisingly, half of the respondents indicated that discrimination takes the form of a degree obtained abroad that is not recognized and many say the same about their experience working abroad.

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All too often, Mr. Armoni explains, the result is that you end up in the wrong seat.

“You have to ask yourself if people are in their place in terms of qualification. You can have a job for which you are qualified or you can sometimes get a job for which you are properly qualified, but not in the field that you have chosen or which we would have chosen if we had more options.

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One consequence of this lack of recognition is that fewer responsibilities are given. One survey participant said the following: “When people talk to me as if I were a five-year-old when I did my master’s degree and wrote essays, the more complex works that motivated me more intellectually than the tasks assigned to me… I find them great. little bit “.

Race, accent and other reasons

Among the reasons respondents said they experience discrimination, ethnicity comes first, followed by accent, being a woman’s race, nationality or immigration status, family name and religion.

The first form of distinction consists, by far, of minor assaults. We also talk about some offensive behaviors, looks, gestures, and words.

“At this level we see the emergence of more precise mechanisms of systemic differentiation,” Victor Armoni explains. For example, he says, these people believe that “their accent may play a role in why they don’t get a promotion.”

Respondents’ reactions cover a range of emotions ranging from anger to indifference and coping styles, which means they tend to pay close attention to their appearance, do anything to excel at work, sometimes simply laugh at it or simply seek to avoid.

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The researchers concluded that “discrimination does not necessarily require the appearance of malicious actors” and that “its systemic nature can induce individuals to commit discriminatory acts without their knowledge of it.”

culture change

Victor Armoni realizes that we cannot compare with the past, because this research is in its infancy and, above all, the context has changed a lot.

“We can talk about a paradox. Today in Quebec in 2022 we are more aware of the existence of racism, so we talk about it more. People who suffer from it as victims are also more aware of it.

“There is no denying the fact that it can be better than it has been in the past. There are gestures that appear. The sensitivity to diversity today in the private sector and in the public sector in Quebec almost attests to a change in culture. We are no longer in 1990 or 2000 in Quebec “.

He also adds that the current situation of full employment “is always a positive factor because it is going up and everyone is going up, including those who have been lagging behind.”

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