All Articles Tagged "sexism"
There are many perks to being a women; getting a decent price on auto repair is not one of them.
This according to researchers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, who according to The Atlantic, have teamed up with AutoMD to find out if there are any differences in how genders are charged for the same auto repair service. Not surprisingly women were quoted more for repairs than men. However, the report reveals that when women requested a lower price, they were more likely get a price reduction than their male counterparts.
Writes The Atlantic: “This “pretty sizeable” difference, the authors say, is not explained by higher initial quotes women sometimes receive. Instead, repair shops are surprised perhaps when a woman customer defies the stereotype that women don’t haggle and negotiate. They think she will walk out the door; hence, she gets a discount.”
My brother Eric is a mechanic, which meant that I never in my life had to pay for car repairs – just parts and he would do the rest. However reading the article, more specifically the conclusions from this study, reminds me of similar conversations I had with my mechanic over the years about my own car maintenance – or lack thereof. I asked Eric his thoughts on the study as well as if he had some tips to help women not get ripped-off by a mechanic. And what I got back was an hour lecture
“What happens is that people – not just women but yeah, yall too – wait until the last minute to pay attention to what is happening with your cars and that is usually when an emergency situation happens and you have little choice. And that’s when the sharks come out.”
By “sharks” he means the dishonest mechanics, who prey on vulnerable people in desperate need of immediate car repair. Like folks, who you see broken down on the side roads with smoke coming from their radiators. Or like myself, who not too long ago in the distant past, blew a tire while driving 80 miles on the highway. It was the most scariest and expensive lesson I learned in my life. “See and I told you before that happened that your tires were bad and you didn’t take it seriously. That’s how most people get in trouble when it comes auto repair. Women, and men too, have to take responsibility for their car maintenance.”
The car maintenance Eric is referring too is the routine stuff that we are supposed to do to ensure our vehicles have long and healthy lives. Eric said that these routine checks are also key to ensuring that people can detect problems on your vehicle before they become major. “I see it all the time. It is general wisdom and basic standards that you are supposed to check your car out every time you get gas. That means more than just walking around the car, checking the tire pressure and fluids; seeing if your windshield wipers need to be replaced. It takes literally a couple of minutes and you can do it while your car is gassing up. However most people just go to the gas station; pay for the gas, sit in the car while it fueling and leave. A routine check is the best prevention you have to paying crazy prices later.”
Actually quick checkups at gas stations are the second best way to familiarize yourself with your vehicle. The first way, he said, is actually reading the owners manual. Eric suspects that the number one way in which women get taken at the shop is because they have no idea about the inner workings of their vehicle. Eric says that it has been his experience that women just want the car fixed and that they don’t care how it is done. However, it is this haste, which often leads them to into walking into a repair shop, complaining of strange sounds or movements and accepting it in the hands of a mechanic, who could tell you anything he wants. He said, while it is unlikely that you will gain the knowledge to identity everything that is wrong with your vehicle, reading the owners manual will give a working knowledge to know if what the mechanic is saying is truthful.
“There are really good mechanics out here. I know I am one of them. And the way to test your mechanic is to ask him to show and tell. Matter of fact, he is says that the problem is your alternator is not charging, ask him to come from behind the desk and walk you outside or to the garage or wherever the car is, and explain everything to you while he is showing you the parts.
A good mechanic will say, ‘this is your alternator; this is your battery; this is your belt drive system, and this is how it is not working. If a mechanic takes time to explain this to you than odds are you have a pretty honest and fair mechanic,”he said.
Eric wanted me to emphasize that this advice is not gender specific and that there are just as many men clueless about vehicles as women. He also wanted to emphasize that if a woman is still not convinced that she is getting a fair price, she can – and should – always shop around. “Don’t be afraid to price check. Just like we did when your tire blew out. We didn’t just go with the first tire place, we went to several different ones to check both prices and quality of tires. You just have to pay attention when I’m showing this stuff.”
About a third of the way through our conversation, it became very evident that this advice directed less at anonymous women, was much more about me.
Why A UK Man Suing A Gym For Reverse Sexism Because Of Women-Only Workout Sessions Is Complete “Rubbish”
Peter Lloyd, a journalist from the UK, is suing his gym for reverse sexism and writes in the UK Daily Mail about the situation:
“When I became a member of my local gym, it was to exercise my body – not my human rights. But that’s exactly what I’m doing with the Kentish Town Sports Centre in north London. The venue, owned by fitness company Better in association with Camden Council, attracts hundreds of people from all sections of society: religious, atheist, male, female, young and old. There is no dominant demographic. Everybody is welcome and everybody gets on. But not everybody is equal. Because, in an age of political over-correctness, they ban all men and boys for 442 hours every year – simply because they are male. Adding insult to injury, they still charge them the same full-price membership fee as women, but refuse to offer the equivalent option of male-only sessions. Not only is this an outrageous business model, but it’s also sexist. Especially given that council officials base it almost solely on women’s needs. Fair? I think not. But, because we live in an age of acceptable misandry, most people are too polite to say anything.”
Speaking of things that folks are too polite to say: The last time I was in a gym, a dude puts his balls in my face.
This happened in my late 20s, while I was going through this fitness phase. I used to hit the gym about an hour a day, get it in on the treadmill and do strength training with the weights. There used to be this guy that would be in there working out too. What time would he be there? Doesn’t matter. He was always there. This dude was in the gym like it was, seriously, his damn job. And that’s what I initially thought the first time he showed up in the woman’s section of the gym (a smaller room in the gym, which I’m sure was office space in its previous life). He gave me advice on how to use the weight machine correctly and then he left. Despite how helpful he was, I found out later that he didn’t work there. He was just a member like me. Nevertheless, I figured he was harmless enough. The most he had ever done was smile, wave and do the whole polite, “Hey, you’re back” type of conversation.
And then one day, I was in the main gym area using this hamstring machine, where you have to lay flat on your stomach and curl your legs back. My chin is rested on the mat and I’m staring down at the floor. In the middle of me trying to count off a second interval, I became distracted by two pairs of black sneakers. I liftted my head slightly from the mat and looked up. That’s when I got a face full of crotch. “Mmh, mmh, mmh, girl…” It was the gym rat. He was standing directly over me, shaking his head and ogling at my backside. “You know, you really don’t need to be in here working out. From what I see, you look good the way you are. I’m for real!” Gym-rat dude thought he was sending me a compliment, but all I remember is a semi-lewd comment and a man’s crotch in my face.
Shortly after, I stopped going to the gym – not because of this incident. I stopped working out because I got bored and then got lazy. But I will say that his presence did make my gym experience awkward from then on out. Now I’m all conscious of how I’m running on the treadmill, and if my double D breasts are jiggling too much. Lord knows, I’m not trying to get a rise out of him because then I would have to curse him out or something. And then you become, that girl.
The funny thing is that this is not the most awkward and inappropriate thing to happen to me, nor is it the craziest story I have ever heard. I know that there are women reading this, who have crazy tales of their own about the ways in which they have been approached by men in public – being it in the gym, supermarket, on the streets, at your grandmother’s funeral, etc… It can be pretty uncomfortable as many men are not as Rico Suave as they think they are. Some just come off as creepers. However, learned women know how to maneuver around these situations by doing a few things, including using headphones; gauging properly when it is and when it’s not safe to tell a dude no aggressively; and if needed, avoiding certain public places all together.
I agree with Lloyd that the “ladies’ night” promotion at the gym is a bit misguided. It does nothing to address the overall culture of the gym environment, which often condones inappropriate, lewd, or harassing behavior at times, particularly to women and girls. But to champion this cause as some sort of misandry is equally misguided, ignorant and quite frankly, dismissive of the very real and justified safety concerns, which are often a product of this culture. The charges of reverse sexism are just as hollow as the charges of reverse racism. As far as I am concerned, if men like Lloyd want to be compensated for the 442 hours they are “excluded” from the gym every year – or whatever else they claim reverse discrimination on – they can take their gym membership fees and version of “equality” out of the 23 cents on the dollar (in upwards of 21 percent in the UK) we ladies earned in wages in the workforce but have yet to receive.
Sexism has a bright side? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seems to think so. He recently wrote an essay for New York magazine in which he not only talks about growing up in New York City but makes an odd—and offensive—remark about sexism. He says, reports Jezebel:
“It is amazing how many of the names of the kids in this class I remember. The teacher standing in the back-that was a lady named Consuela Goins, and she was a wonderful teacher. Every cloud has a silver lining, and one of the benefits of the exclusion of women from most professions was that we had wonderful teachers, especially the women who today would probably be CEOs.”
Okay, so we should be happy that women are left out of the corporate boardroom so they can make great teachers instead. It would seem that women—or men, for that matter—who strive for a career in education would be ideal. And a woman who wants to be a CEO of a major company would no doubt excel as well—if given the chance.
Ironically, his mother, Catherine Scalia (née Panaro), was as an elementary school teacher. We wonder if she dreamed of being in some other professional and— as Scalia ruminates about female teachers in his essay–settled for teaching.
I made a conscious decision to not make any comments about “The Walking Dead” until the season had finally wrapped. In tradition of previous seasons, the entire plot doesn’t come into full fruition until the last few episodes, therefore it would be very presumptuous of me to make comment until I’ve seen everything play out first. But now that the season has officially wrapped, I can honestly say that I just wasn’t feeling season three.
[Warning: there are plenty of spoilers below so if you have yet to see the final episode or the show period, you might want to stop reading now]
Earlier in the season, I started noticing certain racial and gender tropes, which I thought would get better towards the end of the season but nope, it got kind of worse. By the season finale, which aired Sunday night, I was still wavering on the proverbial fence about whether or not this entire series is either an allegory for the pitfalls of following a society based around white male supremacy or an actual celebration of the Anglo-Saxon patriarchy and supremacy.
There is certainly a familiar hierarchy to this apocalyptic series, which appears to place white male masculinity as the highest importance of protecting. Sure, this season brought about the death of “Merle,” the camp’s resident hillbilly racist, who turned into a zombie and was put down by his own hillbilly brother. However Merle’s death also came with redemption by martyrdom for leading a zombie-bomb against the Governor and Woodbury camp. And yes it is true that the series main character is “Rick,” a white middle class Georgia sheriff who woke up from a coma to find a zombie apocalypse going down. Therefore it would make sense that the storyline revolve around him. But there is no indication as to why even as the main character, Rick should be awarded leadership of a camp of survivors, especially when there are more qualified, yet marginalized, individuals.
Years ago, Spike Lee spoke about the “Magical Negro,” a trope (some would argue a plot device) used in both literature and in film and television, involving a black person used for the primary purpose of the white protagonist’s self-discovery. This is certainly true of characters like “T-Dog,” who it would seem never really had a real name (for all we know it could have been Kunta Kinte) and was only there to save white folks. And it is certainly true of “Tyreese,” who despite being physically stronger and capable of leading a team of his own through the zombie apocalypse, is reduced down to a non-threatening teddy bear of a man, who has capitulated to white male leadership this entire season – even at times when the dominance comes by way of a small white male boy name “Carl.” After being forced from the prison by a mentally unstable Rick (who at the time was advised by his dead wife to not let them in), Tyreese and his crew, who has now been reduced down to one black woman, are invited back into the camp of survivors only after proving that they would be no threat to Rick and Carl’s WASPy masculine authority.
Yet outside of the Magical Negro trope there are other magical representations, which makes it clear that everyone non-white and non-male is there to teach our white males a lesson or aid in his self-discovery– even at the expense of the others’ own lives. For instance, the only other able-bodied white male on the series (who hasn’t been killed off or been killed by Rick) is “Darryl,” who hails from the poor, southern backwoods, redneck part of whiteness. Despite being a white male, Darryl has the misfortune of hailing from what John Edwards used to call the second America, which also gets the bum end of the stick from WASPy America. Despite being stellar with the bow and arrow and the hunting knife, Darryl does not have the confidence and takes shelter under first Merle, the white supremacist and then under Rick’s command. The same with “Glenn,” the spunky and eager-to-please Asian American kid. Despite becoming the camp’s strongest and smarter members, Glenn happily and mysteriously takes his place under Rick’s guard and becomes the camp’s model citizen. I’ll let you read between the lines of that one.
Legal Experts Say Tech Evangelist Fired Over A Tweet Could Win If She Brought Her Former Employers To Court
Have you ever overheard a conversation and tweeted bits and pieces of that convo, or maybe mentioned it on Facebook or Tumblr? Well, doing just that got a software developer in San Francisco fired. Now many labor attorneys are saying she could have a solid wrongful termination case.
Developer evangelist Adria Richards, who works for SendGrid (a firm that develops cloud-based e-mail service) was given the axe after she tweeted a photo of fellow conference attendees who made sexual jokes she overheard and considered offensive. (We profiled Richards, one of the few African-American women techies in the field, last year.) The tweet has caused “a firestorm of debates about sexism and social media decorum in Silicon Valley,” reports USA Today.
But some say Richards should not have been fired for her “public shaming” of the men. In fact, as Mercury News reports (via Jezebel), her company will have a difficult time defending their decision in court. One attorney, Therese Lawless, told the paper that Richards might have a “groundbreaking case” if she decides to follow through with a lawsuit against her former employer. “They’re basically retaliating against her for speaking out about sexual harassment. Often times, employers say their excuse is that ‘We want this person out of the workforce because they don’t fit into the culture, they don’t get along with their co-workers.’ But she’s in a situation where she’s speaking about inappropriate behavior,” Lawless told Jezebel.
The “offensive” jokes were overheard at the PyCon conference, where software developers who code in Python language had gathered. Richards’ role was as a “developer evangelist,” a role that SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin said, in a blog post, she could no longer fulfill because of the tweet.
“To be clear, SendGrid supports the right to report inappropriate behavior, whenever and wherever it occurs,” Franklin wrote. “Her decision to tweet the comments and photographs of the people who made the comments crossed the line. Publicly shaming the offenders – and bystanders – was not the appropriate way to handle the situation.”
One of the men from Richards’ photo was fired by his employer, gaming software developer PlayHaven. Media reports say Richards did not confront him before tweeting the photo and remarks. PyCon staffers escorted the man from the conference hall after they saw Richards’ tweets.
This incident has raised a number of issues. Should a conversation at an event be considered private? How deep does sexism go in the tech world? A CNN story makes note of the attacks that Richards and SendGrid received, with quotes from some in the industry questioning the safety of the industry for women, and the sensibility of the men who participate in it. Was Richards right in tweeting about the offender and his comments? While it was probably okay for her to tweet the convo without giving the names of those involved, did she cross the line by tweeting the photo? Should she have been fired as well? In the digital world there are so many areas that remain uncharted, and this was a lesson learned on the ramifications of tweeting about others.
What do you think about Richards being fired?
My Conversation With Legendary Historian & Artist Nell Painter: A Must Read Interview For Black Women
Nell Painter, an Ivy League educated woman, has had a very celebrated career. From her published art and literary pieces to her tenure as a professor at Princeton University, this 70 year old Houston, Texas native, has seen and experienced enough to pass along her wisdom to the next generation. In an exclusive interview with MadameNoire writer, Zahra, she shares some of her insight on the imaginary concept of race, succeeding as a black woman and being optimistic. She stops short of kicking Zahra in the butt, trying to get her to grasp certain concepts. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t read all the way through.
This interview takes place at Nell’s Newark, NJ studio.
Zahra: I’m oversimplifying here but you said in 2003, before you retired, that black women scholars are somewhat invisible when it comes to positive recognition. I think black women and positive recognition have a contentious relationship in general.
Nell: I think that’s a very good way of putting it. That it’s a fraught relationship. That black women scholars cannot take recognition for granted even if they do all the things they are supposed to do. But on the other hand, I can’t complain about my career. I had a wonderful career. I was rewarded. So clearly you can’t say that if you do all of the right things no matter what you will not get rewarded. Social scientists say that optimists and pessimists go through the world differently…that pessimists see the world more correctly but optimists get more stuff done because they just keep at it.
Zahra: Uh huh. Wow.
Nell: If you try more, you get more. The other side of it, and this is something that artists say, is if you’re not getting turned down multiple times you’re not making enough applications. Pessimists will say “My god, what are my chances, which are miniscule” and not bother to try. I think that’s the kind of relationship between recognition and black women. That you have to be an optimist to think something’s going to work out and just keep trying because if you concentrate on the really awful actual facts of life, then you’ll just crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.
Zahra: (laughter). That’s where I end up at times. I want to talk about place. For some reason, place came to me when I was thinking of you. Where do you feel comfortable? I mean it’s hard to feel at home sometimes.
Nell: You know it’s almost a commonplace that we don’t feel at home.
Zahra: The human condition?
Nell: I wouldn’t go that far. But I think it’s an American condition. Part of it has to do with so much migration in our history. So when I think about my friends and myself and my parents, everybody’s got migration/immigration in their past. That just sets us up for feeling either that our roots are shallow or that we have no roots. All of that is to say that I do have a hard time feeling at home.
Zahra: Even you?
Nell: What do you mean even me? (laughs).
Zahra: For me, you’re a celebrity.
Nell: That’s sweet.
Zahra: You know we put our celebrities on a pedestal. So even you! I am taken aback by what I have read of your parents: their intellect, values and longevity. We know that there is a very social reason for inequality and some argue a genetic basis for it, but I wonder if we should not talk more about parenting.
Nell: Well it depends on what the conversation is. The last time we met I kept trying to shake you out of going so quickly and easily into categories because the categories you’re using, the categories Americans use, are so gross. Gross in the sense that you can’t think of yourself in a sophisticated, careful, sensitive way if what you’re saying about yourself or thinking about yourself applies to millions and millions of other people.
Zahra: I mean, Nell, that is so true right—the social construction of race. It just is. It’s so delicious to me, what you just said because I’m a thinker. BUT damn it when I live my life I’m living in these categories, perceptions, taxonomies. We are constantly checking boxes.
Nell: Actually, we are not constantly checking boxes.
Zahra: Hmm. That’s true. I’m thinking job and school applications.
Nell: These are things that you do at most three times a year.
Somewhere along the line the term “double standard” became accepted as only applicable to women. But there are plenty of, “Wait a minute…that’s not fair!” moments that men experience. They may not tell women because women would feel offended —even though women can point out double standards against them left and right. Consider that double standard #1. And here are the rest.
According to USA Today:
American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says he’s “shocked” by a proposed lawsuit from nine past contestants claiming racial motivations for their public disqualifications from the show.
New York attorney James Freeman has filed a letter with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seeking to sue the show. Freeman claims the show violates California employment law, which forbids employers from questioning potential employees about their arrest histories.”
An article in Fox News provides a more detailed look at each one of these nine ex-Idol hopefuls, including the following: Corey Clark from season two, who was disqualified after it was discovered that he had previously been arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery on four police officers and his sister; Jaered Andrews, also from season two, who was removed from the show after the discovery of an assault charge; And twin brothers Terrell and Derrell Brittenum of season five, who were axed from the show after it was discovered that they had been arrested and charged with identity theft.
While the Fox News article asserts that the proposed discrimination case against the producers will be hard legally to prove for a variety of reasons, I found the accusations of race-bias intriguing because Idol seems like an equal opportunity reality show. Folks spanning various skin colors, genders and sexual orientations have not only been popular, but have actually won the show. Then again, I admittedly haven’t watched the show since the season after Fantasia won – even then I can’t tell you who won. However, last year, Melissa McEwan, writing for Alternet, too raised the question if Idol had a race and gender problem. According to the Alternet piece, among all the contestants to be eliminated first in the finals of the 2011 season of Idol were women of color. Furthermore, as noted by McEwan, a woman of color hasn’t won a season of Idol since Jordin Sparks took season six. McEwan speculates that the show’s target demographic leans heavily towards contestants with Southern roots, and it might explain the racial imbalance on the show, however, there is no getting around the fact that the show treats contestants differently by gender, “encouraging creativity among the boys and conformity among the girls.”
Last week, I decided to tune into the first Idol show in a number of seasons. I think the last time that I had actually watched Idol with interest is when that Sanjaya kid trolled America. But like most people I know, if I do happen upon it, I’m only watching for the auditions, and even then, I’m only making it an episode or two. However, I will say that this supposed beef between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj has sparked my interest. And while somewhat entertaining, it is clear from the three episodes I’ve seen that their little squabble is not going to be enough to carry the entire show – well, maybe for a season. I certainly am interested to see how Minaj and Carey will relate to each other during the live shows. However, their tension is not enough to warrant a return for next season. As far as I am concerned, Idol issues go far beyond what a Minaj and Carey beef can fix. I don’t know if it is just a matter of it being racial or sexist, but I can tell you that I have watched Idol judges pass through mediocre singers audition after audition and then basically lie to the cameras about them being the “best voice I think we heard all day.”
I’m not saying that these people can’t carry a tune, but carrying a tune is all that they can do. The typical Idol singer has little range and they tend to all sound the same. They are pleasant in sound but not all that inspiring. What’s missing from Idol nowadays is the real singers. You know, the ones with the heavy voices, who know how to do runs and riffs properly and can hit all the notes in Jennifer Holiday’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”? The singers whose voices give goosebumps and reach you to the depth of your soul. I’m not only talking about the Fantasias and the Ruben Studdards, but the Clay Aikens, Carrie Underwoods and Kelly Clarksons too. I’m talking about the powerhouse singers, who wake up early Sunday morning just so that they can tear it up at their storefront Baptist churches, or what Simon Cowell would call “good ole’ fashion belters.” A singing competition without those kind of big voices cannot be taken seriously.
In this regard, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were definitely some filtering and selective-ness at work behind the scenes. If demographics are important, as the Alternet article suggests, then perhaps Idol might be more willing to tailor its finalists to meet the audience’s standards of image, values and personality. And unfortunately, in our culture, images – be it the potential for being racist, sexist or some other way exclusionary – tends to overshadow talent. It’s the reason why Martha Wash has one of the most famous voices, but not as recognizable of a face. And as I suspect, it is the reason why Idol keeps producing season after season these homogeneous non-singers who are a little bit country with a penchant for acoustic guitars and boring contemporary pop-top 40 hits.
In a way, you can’t blame them: having a powerhouse singer amidst a bunch of middling singers is not all that interesting to watch. It’s like, duh, this person is destined to win so why even bother with the competition? Well, unless of course something is off in the voting. I remember feeling that way when Jennifer Hudson, who clearly could blow, was unceremoniously booted from the program by an obviously tone-deaf America. Ironically, the other contestants in the bottom three, alongside Hudson, consisted of two other black women. Clearly, American Idol is a popularity contest. And unfortunately in America, it is still perfectly fashionable in popularity contests to be both racist and sexist.
Angelo Carusone wants Donald Trump to get fired from Macy’s. And he has 390,955 people who agree with him.
Carusone, who is director of online strategy for nonprofit progressive research and information center Media Matters for America, has started a petition to urge the department store to break its ties with Trump. The Donald developed his line of clothes and fragrances through Macy’s.
Trump’s recent antics prompted Carusone to take such a step. As he outlines in the petition, Trump has:
-Long engaged in sexist behavior. Trump has a long record of personally attacking women he disagrees by calling them “unattractive,” ugly or fat. He once sent a targeted a personal note telling her that she has the “face of a dog.” Not even his own daughter is immune to Trump’s sexism. While referring to his daughter, Trump observed: “She does have a very nice figure…if [she] weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.
-Hypocritically complained about jobs being shipped overseas to China, despite the fact that almost his entire clothing line sold at Macy’s is made in China and other Asian nations.Perpetuated the racially-charged birther conspiracy, repeatedly arguing that President Obama has been lying and was not born in the United States.
There is more, but according to Carusone, Trump’s behavior does not fall in line with Macy’s social responsibility policy, which reads: “There is no shortage of talk about the obligation of public companies to be socially responsible to the people and communities where they do business. At Macy’s, Inc., we hold those same beliefs – along with a belief that actions speak louder than words when it comes to helping tackle some of the toughest problems facing us today.”
The Donald was up to his attention-seeking antics until just days before the election.
Do you agree with Carusone?
Experts say it’s because the job market is so tight. That’s why the number of cases of job discrimination is up. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency responsible for investigating employment discrimination charges, the number of complaints from workers and job seekers hit an all-time high last year.
During the 2001 fiscal year, nearly 100,000 charges from citizens were made, “the most logged in a single year in the agency’s 46-year history,” reported The Huffington Post. “The agency also managed to obtain a historic amount of monetary relief for alleged victims of job discrimination — $365 million, the most on record.”
So what to do if you find that you have been discriminated against because of your race, age, sex, sexual orientation? We asked workplace diversity expert Janet Crenshaw Smith, president of the Ivy Planning Group. LLC. “Contrary to popular belief, discrimination is alive and well in 2012. However, today discrimination and bias is much more likely to show up in subtle ways versus overt ways,” she says.
- Alert the higher-ups at your company: “The corporate leaders that I work with are intolerant of discrimination. They want to know if it is happening in their companies. So I do believe that employees should make their companies aware when they are experiencing it,” Smith says. “The test of whether you should leave a company is how the company reacts when you raise the issue. The company should be fair to all parties involved, and it also should not retaliate against you for raising the issue.”
- Help change your firm’s corporate culture. “You can help to change the corporate culture at your job by speaking up, and speaking for diversity and inclusion. You start by showing the value of diversity and inclusion,” she explains. “You can demonstrate the value of difference by sharing your diverse network – in terms of employee referrals and customers. You can open the eyes of your colleagues by letting them know the subtle ways they exclude – little things, micro-triggers – they probably don’t even know what they don’t know. Speak up. It helps you, your team and the culture.”
- Make the complain official. If you have complained to the heads of your company or potential employer and the issue has not been addressed, file a complaint with the EEOC.