In the Workplace | Racism. It Stops With Me

In the Workplace

People are often unsure about how to respond to racism in the workplace because they worry about how it might affect their relationships with co-workers or their career prospects. Power imbalances can also come into play.

If you feel comfortable talking with a co-worker about racism, this can often be the best approach. Many of the same strategies outlined in the section on addressing racism in social situations(above) can be useful: You should stay calm; consider taking the person aside privately; appeal to their sense of empathy; criticise the comment and not the person; listen to their perspective; and you may want to ask them questions, or tell them how their words have impacted you.    

If you don’t feel comfortable approaching the person directly, most workplaces have systems that can make addressing racism a little easier. These include procedures for dealing with bullying or harassment, which can also be used to deal with racism.

You might also feel comfortable having a quiet conversation with a manager about how the person’s comments have impacted you at work. It may be that your manager is better placed to intervene.

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