It is shocking that in this day and age, there are people who still suffer from discrimination, people who don’t get accepted for jobs because of their skin color, and women who get paid less than men although they do the same amount of work and have the same experience. Women get paid less merely because of their gender, as they are still perceived as lesser individuals.
Every day you hear on the news about people mistreated by the police because they have a different skin color. We are all equal, and people’s gender, skin color, or sexuality shouldn’t define who they are. Discrimination isn’t going to end in a day, but if each person tries to better understand how important equality is, then maybe things can change.
You may not be aware of it, but simple words can cause a misunderstanding or unintentionally offend someone. For instance, when you are among a group of people, it is better not to address them using gender-specific words like ladies, dudes, or guys. There may be individuals of mixed genders who are not comfortable with these words. It is also important to listen to other people and avoid interrupting. Some men make a mistake when conversing with women because they constantly interrupt them because they don’t believe what the woman is saying is important. Or they “mansplain” things for them without being asked to because they believe they are the superior gender and that they know better. When having a conversation with a woman, try not to interrupt and listen to what she is saying without feeling the urge to explain things that don’t require explanations. Some people also make strange facial expressions or give off weird body language when interacting with people of different colors or sexuality. Have neutral expressions and carry a conversation with them calmly and respectfully.
Use Gender-Neutral Words
If you work in a company and post a job ad, avoid using pronouns like he or she is the job description. Using these pronouns is sexist and will discourage women from applying. Additionally, you shouldn’t specify a gender for a job that either men or women can do. Allow for diversity because if you read any quotations on diversity, they explain how the workforce and economy can benefit from embracing diversity. So, use pronouns like “they” to leave the door open for qualified candidates to apply based on their experience, not gender.
Make People Feel They Belong
People from different cultures, races, or have different sexuality often feel uncomfortable being themselves, especially in a new workplace. This is why, if you own a business or are in a position in the workplace that allows you to make a difference, you should help people feel included and that they belong. When people feel connected to their company or organization and allowed to be themselves, they become more engaged with their environment, which impacts their creativity and boosts their performance.
Challenge Unconscious Bias
Old generations with certain beliefs and prejudices have passed them on to newer generations. Additionally, wrong information and media influences have all impacted how we see and interact with other people. Did you know that unconscious bias has a huge impact on our behavior, making us treat people in an unfriendly manner and making them feel excluded? When you meet someone who is culturally different, try to listen and interact with them without letting your unconscious bias influence you. Being aware of your prejudices will make you recognize the power they have over you so you can do something about it.
Ask yourself if you recognize any prejudices or judgments towards that person. If the answer is yes and you judge this person based on gender, religion, sexuality, or skin color, stop thinking about these elements and focus on them as people and what you may both have in common. Naturally, you may not always recognize this pattern of behavior, so this is why you need to practice and focus on the way you think and react with people in the subway, streets, or at work.
We all strive to be better people, but sometimes we lose track of that. We may unintentionally communicate with people of different skin color, gender, religion, culture, or sexuality in a way that makes them feel inferior or uncomfortable. We may also be controlled by the way we were raised or by false information the media spreads. However, we should try to be better versions of ourselves. If you look at any individual and feel any superiority and judgment towards them, you need to understand the reasons behind these feelings and work on them.