How to Prevent Discrimination and Ensure Fairness in Your Business

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

It’s so unfortunate to say, but even currently, right in 2024, there’s such a major issue with discrimination in the workplace. But it’s not just the workplace; it is even when people are applying for jobs. There’s things like race, age, ethnicity, and whether or not someone has kids (particularly women) that tend to get judged.

These things are illegal in most countries, but it doesn’t matter because it’s so easy for a company to prove why they didn’t hire someone otherwise, as there’s is “always a better candidate that aligns with the job requirements”.

So, while companies should never discriminate when hiring, another thing is to focus on their current employees and ensure that the workplace is safe for everyone. Your company should get the attention it deserves, and if you’re making it a harmful work environment, such as what Uber and Blizzard have done, then you better believe that people will be giving your company the negative attention it deserves.

Of course, if you’re fighting for safer workplaces (which is technically the bare minimum), you can count on this to attract more positive attention to your business. With that said, however, what can businesses do to ensure that the workplace is safe and that there is absolutely no discrimination and only fairness? Well, here’s what you need to know!

Start By Establishing Clear Policies

Basically, all companies, regardless of size, need to do this; it’s mandatory.  So, if you haven’t, just go ahead and start by developing comprehensive policies and procedures that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected characteristic. You’ll want to ensure that all employees are aware of these policies and understand the consequences of engaging in discriminatory behaviour.

There Has to be Constant Education on the Matter

What may have been acceptable a decade ago won’t be acceptable now; the same could even go for what was acceptable a year ago, which may no longer be acceptable now. Honestly, AI is a great example of this because it constantly needs to learn right from wrong.

Plus, a lot of companies are using a model fairness evaluator since more and more companies are adding AI to their company. So it’s not only about educating and training your employees, but it’s the same for AI, too. Again,  expected behaviour is constantly changing, and times are always changing, so it’s vital to keep up.

What are the Channels for Reporting and Addressing Discrimination?

This shouldn’t just be some little box where people can put notes; there needs to be an actual process, and employees need to feel safe! So, your business will have to establish confidential

channels for employees to report instances of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment.

Plus, your business, specifically HR, will have to take all reports of discrimination seriously and conduct prompt, thorough investigations into each complaint. While yes, HR isn’t there to necessarily protect the employees, it’s more about protecting the company, and they still need to let victims know they’re on their side.

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