Following a recent survey into racism in the workplace, Tatiana Dall, trainee solicitor in our Employment team, comments:
Code-switching is when a person, often as an underrepresented member of a group, adapts their language, behaviour, appearance and interests to match that of the prevailing culture.
A recent survey by the Runnymede Trust and the Fawcett Society has found that 75% of women of colour have experienced racism at work, and 61% of women of colour reported changing themselves to ‘fit in’. This includes 37% changing the words they use, 26% changing their hairstyle, and 22% changing their name.
As an employer it is essential to enforce a zero tolerance policy for racism. The Runnymede Trust and the Fawcett Society are calling in particular for employers to implement Anti-Racism Action Plans, implement clear procedures for reporting racism, provide intersectional anti-racism training and ‘stay interviews’ as opposed to ‘exit interviews’ to gain an insight into employees’ personal experiences. It is hoped that with clear guidelines for reporting, and greater education/training on anti-racism, the workplace will become a safe place for people of all backgrounds to excel in their career, unfettered by racism.