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5 subtle signs of workplace discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace can be a challenging issue to identify, especially when it is subtle and not overt.

It is important to be aware of these subtle signs to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment for everyone.

1. Unequal opportunities for growth and advancement

One sign to look for is the unequal distribution of opportunities for growth and advancement. This may manifest as certain employees getting consistently passed over for promotions or not receiving challenging projects that can help them develop their skills and careers.

2. Microaggressions and stereotyping

Microaggressions are small and often unintentional comments or actions that perpetuate stereotypes and can create a hostile work environment. They can include offhand remarks, jokes or assumptions based on a person’s gender, race, religion or other personal characteristics.

3. Unequal access to resources

Discrimination can also take the form of unequal access to resources. This includes disparities in training opportunities, access to mentorship or even access to essential tools and information necessary for performing one’s job effectively.

4. Isolation and exclusion

Feeling isolated or excluded is another subtle sign of discrimination. It can manifest as exclusion from informal gatherings, such as team lunches or social events, or getting left out of important meetings or discussions that impact one’s work.

5. Pay disparities

Pay disparities between employees doing similar work can be indicative of discrimination. Even when job titles and responsibilities are similar, unequal pay can exist due to factors like gender or race.

Paving your career path comes with challenges. Unfortunately, sometimes those challenges come from systematic discrimination issues. The sad truth is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has seen more than a 50% increase in discrimination lawsuits in the last year.


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