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One in five people still being racially abused at work

ISSUE: Racism in the workplace (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

NEW RESEARCH by business psychology firm, Pearn Kandola, has revealed that 60 per cent of black and 42 per cent of Asian people have experienced racism at work.

One in five (20 per cent) of those have received verbal or physical abuse, while nearly a third (29 per cent) feel that they have been intentionally excluded from work or social events because of their race.

A further fifth (19 per cent) believe that they have been falsely accused or criticised by their colleagues, and as many as 59 per cent also feel that colleagues have made assumptions about their ability, character or behaviour, based on their ethnicity.

Professor Binna Kandola OBE, senior partner at Pearn Kandola, commented: “These results clearly show that racism is still rife throughout the workplace, for black and Asian people in particular.

"The fact that examples of ‘subtle racism’, such as making assumptions about someone based on race, are the most commonly experienced form, indicates there is still a lack of awareness around these types of actions and the response they illicit. It’s important that we recognise the serious impact of any act of racism, regardless of how overt.”

Of the different forms of discrimination that respondents have experienced, black people are most likely to feel that colleagues treat them differently because of their race (45 per cent). Asian and white people, meanwhile, are most likely to feel that colleagues have made assumptions about their ability or behaviour based on their race (53 and 7 per cent respectively).

Professor Kandola concluded: “To think that a significant number of people have experienced physical or verbal abuse at work, a supposed place of safety, is simply unacceptable.

"We need to work harder to not only tackle instances of racism where we encounter it, but also to raise awareness of the more ‘subtle’ forms of racism that are becoming a daily norm.

"Abuse and exclusion on racial grounds can do serious harm, but promoting stereotypes can do just as much to foster the ongoing culture of racism.”

Professor Kandola’s new book, Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference, which addresses the evolution of racial bias in the workplace over the last 60 years, will be published March 6, 2018.

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