Why ‘women are only good for wearing skirts’ is just the tip of the iceberg in the workplace Nearly half (46 per cent) of all employees hear discriminatory remarks every week at their place of work, with 62 per cent choosing to do nothing about it or dismissing it as ‘office banter’. This rises to 72 per cent of employees hearing discriminatory comments on a monthly basis, with those aged 25-34 most likely to report having heard something that could cause offence, according to a survey from Turbervilles Solicitors. !1 ï¿¼More than a third (35 per cent) of discriminatory comments were made directly to employees, with age, sex and sexual orientation, race and religion topping the list of most common factors in workplace discrimination. The survey of more than 1,000 workers across the UK catalogued verbatim remarks made about victims including: referring to an older colleague as a ‘dinosaur’; calling Pakistani workers ‘ragheads’ and a black person ‘darkie’; and referring to Muslims as ‘terrorists’. A worker was reported to have said ‘I hate all queers’, while ‘one colleague was making fun of a disabled person in a wheelchair because they couldn’t get around the office’, the survey found. A male employee had claimed women were ‘only good for wearing skirts’. Despite discrimination being ever-more prevalent in UK workplaces, nearly two-thirds of employees reported they had not followed up on the incidents, while a further 28 per cent said there were no policies in place in their organisation to help tackle discrimination. Denise Keating, chief executive of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion, said the introduction of fees had significantly reduced the number of discrimination claims reaching employment tribunals – but sex discrimination, followed by disability discrimination, are still by far the most commonly heard. She added a word of caution: “While there are no figures that identify whether the claimant is male or female, the Equality Act 2010 protects both genders and it certainly shouldn’t be presumed that women can’t sexually discriminate against or harass men.” When it comes to age, discrimination can be subtler than outward racism and sexism, according to research from Canada Life Group Insurance, in which 12 per cent of employees of all ages said having older workers in the workplace creates more problems than benefits. Respondents cited career blocking and lack of skills as major concerns. Turbervilles Solicitors’ research suggests that the rise of social media, and a lack of employer policing of its usage at work, might have prompted the increase in covert discriminatory behaviour. Of the four in 10 employees who use social media at work, more than a quarter (27 per cent) had heard or received discriminatory remarks via those channels. Claire Williams, director of inclusion and diversity at Inclusive Employers, said that the tendency to dismiss discriminatory remarks as “just a joke” could have a negative impact on organisations in the future. “Over recent years, the number of employment tribunals that cite ‘banter’ as a justification for unacceptable behaviour has risen significantly. Today ‘banter’ is seen as a completely acceptable part of popular culture; however, very few employers do enough to explain to staff where they should draw the line – where harmless banter becomes discriminating or harassing behaviour,” she said. !2 ï¿¼Williams added that there is a strong correlation between enjoying work and high performance, so “the worst possible step would be for an employer to start to police ‘fun’ at work”. “Employers need to talk to staff about standards and policies, but this should be in the wider context of an inclusive culture. If people understand inclusion and can apply it to their day-to-day work, the risk of unacceptable banter is dramatically reduced,” she said. Source: CIPD 5 May 2016 http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/ archive/2016/05/05/almost-half-of-staff-hear-discriminatory-comments-every- week.aspx? utm_medium=email&utm_source=cipd&utm_campaign=pm_daily&utm_term=75721&ut m_content=pm_daily_050516-5799-10366-genother-20160505130658-Almost%20half %20of%20staff%20hear%20discriminatory%20comments%20every%20week (Accessed 5 May 2016) ! Assignment Brief: Further to the article above from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), it can be assumed that specific social groups may be experiencing discrimination because of an employer’s decisions that cannot be objectively justified. These decisions can be the outcomes of an employer’s negative stereotyping, forms of bias or prejudice against such particular social groups. An example is that an employer may not want to hire older workers because s/he may think that older people are less productive. In another example, an employer could assume that women with caring responsibilities may be less likely to be productive because they are considered to be less committed to their jobs. In these contexts, an employer’s decision may be framed by negative stereotypes. Stereotypes can be defined as a “model of probability; which are not a statement of certainty” (Collinson et al 1990). The implications of stereotyping are that an employer whose judgment is influenced by stereotypes may discriminate against a job applicant if s/he feels that there is a degree of possibility that the worst predictions of stereotype may be realised. These stereotypes can occur within several aspects of the employer-employee relationship, such as recruitment, selection, promotion process, training and development opportunities and disciplinary matters. This assignment considers managing diversity and ensuring equality within the workforce and employment process and is divided into TWO parts. ! ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼ï¿¼Assignment Task: Part One:â€¨ !In the role of HR manager: ! • Critically evaluate the impact of stereotyping when recruiting female candidates. In answering this question, you should make reference to !3 ï¿¼examples of organizational stereotyping that may reveal an organisation’s practices (such as, the “glass” ceiling for women attempting to gain senior ! management roles within some sectors). !Part Two: In managing diversity and equality, critically discuss what HR managers can do reduce the risk of discrimination based upon negative stereotypes within the workplace. Your answer should consider the strengths and limitations of your chosen recommendations when addressing discrimination within the workplace as well as the limits of key legislation in this area. Your answer should also identify examples of good practice that support your arguments. Total marks: 100 ! ! • !4 ï¿¼REPORT FORMAT: This is a 2000 word assignment. It should be written in a business report format. You should follow the assessment guidelines at the end of the assignment brief. This assignment represents 50% of your total grade for this !module. !REPORT LAYOUT: The 2000 words report should be in a business report format: !Content page !Executive Summary (this is not part of 2000 word count) !Introduction (200 words) ï¿¼!Part one (800 words) !Part two (800 words) !Conclusion and Recommendations (200 words) !Bibliography and References !! !REPORT GUIDANCE: ! Introduction: In the introduction, you should provide a brief outline of the key factors that have influenced the diversity and equal opportunities debate. These factors could be related to demographics, legal requirements and ethical considerations etc (200 words) ! ! ! ï¿¼Part One: In part one you should consider the following: • A definition and meaning of discrimination and stereotyping in relation to diversity and equal opportunities Identify and assess how stereotypes can shape organisational practice (Collinson et al, 1990) Explain the various approaches (including legal) that HR managers have devised to address discrimination against female candidates (provide examples of approaches that organisations have taken) (800 words) • • !5 Part Two: In part two you should consider the following: • The influence that stereotyping can have on the chances of female candidates being recruited The key legislation around discrimination/stereotyping Anti-discrimination legislation and debate against stereotyping â€¨ (800 words) Conclusion and Recommendations: • In your conclusions you should identify the key processes for diversity management that can facilitate change. You should ensure that your recommendations relate to future practices and reflect best practice in the HRM field. Your report should be properly referenced using the Harvard referencing format. (200 words) Note: Your answer should consider relevant theoretical concepts and legislation that support your analysis. You should also consider relevant theoretical models as well as make reference to them by focusing on the organisation or individual in at least part one or two of the discussion. In supporting your discussion/analysis, that discrimination against female candidates is shaped by stereotyping, which is rather subjective, rather than objective, you should provide case study examples of best practices to substantiate your argument.