Workplace Discrimination: Too Ugly to Be Accepted, Too Different to Be Liked

workplace discriminationIn the year 1999, the international “Betty” phenomenon began. It started in Colombia with I am Betty, the Ugly One (Yo Soy Betty La Fea). It’s the story of a brilliant economist named, Beatriz Aurora Pinzón Solano. Despite being a very intelligent woman and a real asset of Ecomoda, Betty continuously faces the scorn of her attractive work colleagues because of her one flaw: she’ ugly.

Most people who are less blessed with looks experience the same struggle. In the workplace, their unattractiveness often ruins their otherwise impressive qualifications. As an employer, how can you prevent such discrimination in the office? Read on to find out.

Follow the Law

All of your employees should know the law. Everyone is entitled to work in an office free of harassment due to looks, sex, age, ethnicity, ability, and even religion.

Diversify

Hiring a diverse group of people helps stop discrimination. With this strategy, your employees will learn mutual respect for all team members. Workers with different ages, abilities, genders, and ethnicities bring a diverse mix of ideas that can attract a wider range of clients.

Encourage Employees and Educate the Management

Provide diversity and harassment policies for all workers to follow. Encourage your employees to tell their managers if they experience discrimination of any sorts. Managers, on the other hand, should immediately take an action. Recognizing subtle forms of discrimination such as uncalled for comments is also important.

Conduct Seminars and Sensitivity Workshops

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to mandate participation in sensitivity workshops. For seminars, motivational speakers with wisdom, humor, and wit can inspire and challenge your employees to rethink the way they’ve always done things.

Always Assess Your People’s Needs

Open communication is a must in the workplace. Talk to your employees from time to time and get feedback about the daily operations. Know if gossips are rampant in the office or if prejudices exist among members. By doing this, you’ll make your employees feel respected and valued.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so as “ugliness.” What may be considered “beast” to others could be a “real beauty” to some. Do the above tips so you’ll retain your employees, lower absenteeism, boost productivity, raise morale, and improve your bottom line.