Awareness and Remembrance

How to Prevent Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

March 21, 2017

While we might not all see it, racial discrimination definitely still exists in Canada, and the workplace is not immune to this type of discrimination. Whether it’s racist comments from a co-worker, or constantly being passed up on promotions due to race, there are many ways that racial discrimination can rear its head in the workplace. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to prevent racial discrimination in the workplace and ensure all employees are treated fairly and with respect. As an employee, it’s your duty to respect all your fellow co-workers.

diverse work meeting

To recognize International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we’re sharing with you easy ways to create a diverse workplace and prevent racial discrimination.

Following these five simple tips will help you prevent racial discrimination in the workplace, creating a happier, healthier and positive place for all employees.

diverse hands

1. Focus on Diversity. Create a diverse workplace. Ensure your workplace is ethnically and racially diverse. Reflecting the diverse population of today’s society will help you to better serve your customers, clients or patients. Ensure all employees are equally heard and represented.

person reading a book

2. Educate. Provide diversity and inclusion training for employees. It’s important that all employees know what constitutes racial discrimination. It can be anything from a comment to a missed promotion based on race. It’s also important to prevent racism and racial discrimination by cultivating respect and inclusion as organizational values.


policy document image

3. Write or Review Your Policy. Have an anti-discrimination policy in place. Just like every workplace should have a domestic violence policy in place, there should also be an anti-discrimination policy that sets standards of behaviour. Employees should all be familiar with the policy to ensure that everyone knows racial discrimination will not be tolerated.

cartoon team

4. Build Your Team. Hold regular team-building sessions that focus on employees getting to know each other, creating a positive work environment.


chat bubbles

5. Communicate. Encourage open communication by making sure employees feel comfortable discussing concerns with supervisors, HR and/or a designated person in the workplace. If someone feels discriminated against, it’s important they feel safe and comfortable bringing it up.