by Emma Sheppard
Originally published: Monday 27, 2016
Speak up, get support and give yourself options if you experience discrimination in the workplace, say our experts
Don’t suffer in silence
Discrimination is unacceptable in all its forms and has no place in the workplace. If you experience it, speak up early and stand your ground, say the experts. Doing so will minimise the impact and raise awareness to prevent others from going through the same.
Bev White, managing director of HR consulting at Penna, says: “Any behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable should be flagged. If a colleague makes an inappropriate remark, saying you don’t appreciate them doing this can stop them in their tracks and make them think more carefully about their behaviour in the future. Refusing to give approval is like taking oxygen from a flame.”
Similarly, if you witness discriminatory behaviour, show your support. Louise Kelly, information manager at LGBT charity Stonewall, says: “Don’t be a bystander. Anyone who witnesses inappropriate behaviour or ‘banter’ can challenge it, even if it’s not directed at them. Make sure colleagues know it’s never acceptable.”