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The impact of origin discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is an issue that continues to persist.

One form of workplace discrimination that many employees face is origin discrimination. This type of discrimination often remains hidden in the shadows.

Recognizing the problem

Origin discrimination occurs when an employee receives unfair or different treatment based on their country of origin, ancestry or ethnicity. It often manifests in various ways. Those may include derogatory comments, microaggressions and /or unequal opportunities.

The weight of stereotypes

One of the most insidious forms of origin discrimination is the perpetuation of stereotypes. When coworkers or supervisors make assumptions about an employee’s abilities, interests or values based on their national origin, it can create an uncomfortable and hostile work environment. Such stereotypes may limit a person’s potential and hinder personal and professional growth. It also impacts overall productivity.

Unequal opportunities

Employees who encounter origin discrimination often find themselves facing unequal career opportunities. They may find it challenging to access leadership positions, mentoring or development programs. Recognizing these disparities is necessary for building a truly inclusive workplace.

Unequal pay and benefits

One consequence of origin discrimination is sometimes unequal pay and benefits. Employees can face disparities in compensation based on their origin. This wage gap can lead to financial instability and lower morale among affected employees.

Mental health impact

Origin discrimination in the workplace can have a severe impact on an employee’s mental health. Experiencing discrimination can lead to anxiety, depression and a sense of isolation. This emotional toll can diminish productivity and well-being.

Origin discrimination is a persistent challenge in today’s diverse workplaces. In FY 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 73,485 discrimination charges. Employees must call attention to any form of discrimination they experience or witness in the workplace.


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