Workplace discrimination can take many forms, some of which are overt and others that are more subtle.
Because workplace discrimination can impact the work environment, knowing the more subtle signs of a problem is important. Here are some signs of subtle workplace discrimination to watch out for.
Exclusion from informal networks
If you notice that you are consistently left out of social events or informal meetings, it may be a sign that you are excluded based on your race, gender, or other protected characteristics.
Microaggressions are subtle but hurtful comments or actions directed at individuals based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Examples of microaggressions include being interrupted or talked over, being given a backhanded compliment, or being told that you don’t fit in.
If you notice that you are consistently given less desirable assignments or opportunities for advancement or are held to a higher standard than others, it may be a sign that you are experiencing workplace discrimination.
Stereotyping is when people make assumptions about others based on race, gender, religion, or other personal characteristics. For example, assuming that a woman is not as qualified for a job as a man or assuming that a person of color is more likely to be a criminal.
Lack of diversity
If you work in an organization that lacks diversity, it may be a sign that the company is not actively seeking out and hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds. This can perpetuate systemic discrimination and make it harder for people from underrepresented groups to succeed.
If you notice any of these signs, it may be worth conversing with your supervisor or HR department to address the issue. You have legal rights in these situations.