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Walking a thin line with no room for error

For many workers-of-color, the face of discrimination comes long before they even get a chance to get their foot in the door for their first day. It may even begin when they first hand in their resume. According to recent studies surrounding workplace and hiring discrimination for minority workers, some applicants resumes are being overlooked, simply because their names may sound too “black.”

Author, Erica Foldy, states that, “while many companies have the right anti-discrimination policies in place, their good intentions are failing.” This is because the workplace environment still contains prevalent microagressions.

One woman, who resides outside of the San Diego area, has experienced all of this first hand and her story of struggle is now being told. The woman was one of the first women-of-color employed by New York energy provider Con Edison. She worked out in the field in a role that was commonly filled by white males. Fellow employees, even went so far as to place bets on her success. 

However, determined to move up the ladder to a supervisory role, the woman continued working and went on to earn her master’s degree, as well as a certificate in electrical engineering. Her hard work should have been more than enough to qualify her for a supervisory role, or so she thought.  However, time after time, her application was rejected in favor of others who were white males and often less qualified in experience and education.

Discrimination can come in many forms and isn’t always glaringly apparent.  One study out of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, reveals that many female workers, feel like they have to walk a very thin line between retaining their femininity, as well as being assertive.

If you feel like you have been discriminated against while applying for a job or while working on a job, it may be time to discuss your situation with someone who understands the laws surrounding discrimination.

Source: CNN Wire, “Working while brown: What discrimination looks like now,” Nov. 27, 2015

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