Outlining Racial Or Gender Discrimination At Work Sociology Essay

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Given a number of laws governing workplace discrimination such as Civil rights Act of 1964 and Equal pay Act of 1963, Racial & Gender discrimination still exist in working places. Racial & Gender discrimination is the act of treating people differently of different races, colour, national origin, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Gender discrimination is a severe and persistent problem, especially in developing Countries.

The main objective of outlining racial or gender discrimination at work place is for people at work, to have a conducive working environment where there is no harassment of the other sex or race simply because one is of different colour or sex. A conducive working environment leads to a positive output of the work and hence the growth of the nation as well in all aspects of economy.


Source: Civil right Act of 1964, & Equal Pay Act of 1963, (Pub. L. 88-38) (EPA)

Gender discrimination as stated earlier can be defined as an act of treating differently the opposite sex (oppress) simply because he or she belong to that sex. It is a tradition that when gender discrimination is addressed it means the complete exclusion of females from the employment or as the exclusion of females from white-collar jobs.

There have been several cases of unequal payment in the working areas (Salary or Wages) between men and women. It has been found that women are paid less comp aired to men given the same task offered to be performed by both men and women in the work place.

The discrimination of women with pregnancy at work, pregnant women normally have maternity leave now it has been a routine that that when women are on maternity leave they would not be paid at all. This case occurs in the private sectors mostly but International Labour Organisation ILO has set rules which govern the employers not to discriminate their employees.


Disparate treatment is clear-cut discrimination. Intentional act of discrimination.

Disparate Impact is where some type of company policy excluded a certain individuals from the job or from promotions.Unintentional discrimination


Title VII of the Civil Right of Act 1964

Protect individual from discrimination based upon sex. It is Illegal for an employment to discriminate against individual because of their sex in hiring, firing, and other terms of condition.

The law covers all private employers, state and local government, and education institution that employ 15 or more individuals.

Title VII Equal Pay Act.

Illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex in the payment of wages or benefits.

Example salary, overtime, bonus, stock option, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay.

Affirmative Action

Equal opportunity for women and minorities. This policy was implemented by Civil Rights Act 1964.

Made to overcome the past societal discrimination of allocating resource to the specific group like minorities and women.

Fair Pay Act 2001

Strengthen the equal pay act

To amend the Fair Labour Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit discrimination in the payment of wages on account of sex, race, or national origin, and for other purposes.


Racial discrimination can also be defined as an act of treating differently the opposite race simply because he or she belong to a different national origin, religion or colour.

Racial discrimination at work occurs when there are mixed races in a working place. The ruling race will oppress the other race simply because it belongs to that race.

Source: Civil right Act of 1964, Equal Pay Act of 1963, (Pub. L. 88-38) (EPA) & United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Switzerland. 1996-2000.


Source: United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Switzerland. 1996-2000

It is still not clear why racial or gender discrimination arises at work because the state of discrimination is more of a feeling created which cannot be seen but rather felt after one group expressing different feeling towards another group. The following are the reasons which can lead to racial or gender discrimination at work:

Fear of sharing power with other groups of people. One group doesnt want to share the powers with other group this can lead to racial or gender discrimination.

Superiority complex and Ignorance of other cultures, religions, and values, one simply feel is superior to the other group.

Historic patterns of prejudice, discrimination, and racism. Colonialism, historic hostilities, and the slave trade contribute to modern racism a good example is when Britain colonised Africa, to this day there is still an ideology of the white men and black men which is already a racial discrimination and here it mostly affects the black people. The historic pattern of that woman are to stay at home and take care of children also leads to a resistance in acceptance of women working in todays life hence leads to gender discrimination.

Xenophobia, the fear of people who are different this can be in terms of colour, for example the white coloured people fear the black coloured people . Deep fear can express itself in racially motivated violence

Religious tensions between certain religions, employees with same goals may not want to get along with each other due to historic differences. For instance, its a common stand in history that Hindus and Muslims have had a long running conflict since ages.



Source: Becker, Gary S., 1971, The Economics of Discrimination & Blackden, C. Mark, and Chitra Bhanu, 1999, Gender, Growth, and Poverty Reduction: Special Program of Assistance for Africa, World Bank Technical Paper No. 428, World Bank

Unemployment rate in a country will increase or rather arise, because a lot of the employees who experience racial or gender discrimination will leave work this applies to those who had been enrolled in the job already but for those seeking the jobs and face racial and gender discrimination are unable to acquire jobs due discrimination that they are facing hence leading to an increase of unemployed in a nation.

Productivity at work will decline due to uncondusive working environments that are created in the working areas due to racial and gender discrimination. Or rather due to the decline in employment that is people leaving their jobs can lead to low productivity at work.

Gross Domestic Product will decline, due to decrease in productivity at work, the general level of products at the nation level will decline as well since production has seized due to racial or gender discrimination.

Per capita income of the people in the nation will decline as well, this is the average income level of the citizen who are with jobs. This is used to measure the wealth of the population and also compare countries wealth. Due to racial and gender discrimination the countries per capita income will decline as well since quite a number of people are jobless.

Living standards of the people will also decline since the per capita income of the people has declined as well.


Source: Blackden, C. Mark, and Chitra Bhanu, 1999, Gender, Growth, and Poverty Reduction: Special Program of Assistance for Africa, World Bank Technical Paper No. 428, World Bank

Psychological effects, people exposed to gender or racial discrimination at work will experience psychological problems such as stress which could lower the productivity of the work.

Occurrence of violence, the group being oppressed if could fight back the group oppressing them and hence instability of the country or at work place.


source: United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Switzerland. 1996-2000

Racial and gender discrimination is a complex ideology as it exist in expressional feelings which are sometimes hard to prove but again this ideology differences should be removed at the work areas and any place where they exist as its adverse effects could cost a lot in the future long run. The following are ways on how to reduce or eliminate racial or gender discrimination at working places:

Implementation of laws internationally and at the government level. Such as the Civil Right Act 1964, Equal pay Act of 1963 and other laws implemented by ILO and other NGOs which are now implemented worldwide.

To educate the children as they grow on the effects of discrimination this will also help remove the ideology of superiority complex in peoples head and hence people would respects other groups colour, sex, nationality and religion.

People persistent in practising racial and gender discrimination should be taken to court and be dealt with in an appropriate manner following the rules and regulations of the laws created

Development of comprehensive job training programs which will enable employees to work with any type of group regardless of their colour, nationality, sex, language or religion.

There should be a respect of peoples religions no matter how much one is into his or her religion they should accept the other peoples religion and respect it and stop being extremists.

Transparency at work areas, job vacancies should be made open and even the interviews should be open as in not oppress other groups this means cameras should be used in interviews this could help stop racial and gender discrimination at work.

To eradicate any gender stereotyping issues and promotes gender equality.


The rate of gender discrimination is still high in the developing countries especially Africans countries. There are traditions and norms which favour men than the women but again this still do exist in Muslim countries.

Racial discrimination is a historical influence since the age of slavery; this exists in developed countries where the difference of colour exists. A good example is the black Americans and the White Americans.

gender discrimination

Source: http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/human-rights-facts-10/.

equal salary gender gap

Source: http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/human-rights-facts-10/


This seminar paper shows an evidence of the narrowing of economy of a nation due to racial and gender discrimination at work place. The actions of this type of discrimination impede economic growth in a greater depth as stated earlier on.

It is to the nations interests to eradicate racial and gender discrimination at any cost as for it future distraction could bring a downfall of a nation since its the economy of the country in particular which faces this kind of discrimination.