Reducing Workplace Discrimination

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Could you imagine being limited by something that has nothing to do with your skill or ability? If you look at the leadership positions of many of the world’s top companies, you will find few women occupying them. This contrast can also be related to the role of African American people in companies. It is very apparent when one contemplates the number of Black CEOs versus White leaders. Something is preventing them from reaching the top. Examples of this can be found in The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Hayley. Although many people believe racial discrimination is mostly a thing of the past, it is still prominent as an invisible barrier in one of the most prominent areas of life: the workplace.

The term “glass ceiling” was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe “the apparent barriers that prevent women from reaching the top of the corporate hierarchy” (Women in business). Today, it is applied to all instances of discrimination preventing advancement in a career. Business Training defines it as “A phrase used to describe an invisible barrier to promotion. It can also be seen as an all encompassing opportunity on the surface, when in reality the ‘Glass Ceiling’ is hit and growth or promotion stops.” African Americans face many problems in the workplace, including: obstacles in employment, promotion and advancement difficulties, channeling into “minority” positions, and lack of access to network and mentors (Queralt).

Discrimination encountered in the employment process accounts for a noticeable difference in job status between Caucasian and African American professionals (Laseter). For example, persons tasked with hiring new employees often harbor judgments and stereotypes about African Americans that contribute to...

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