Tackling workplace discrimination requires a concerted effort by employers and employees. People often get away with things that upset another person and amount to discrimination because people consider them too minor to bother with.
People might make remarks or ask questions that they would not make if you were of the same race, nationality, color, gender, or religion as them. If you reproach them for it, they may fail to see the problem. Yet, if they were on the end of similar comments several times a day, day after day, they soon would.
Here are a few examples of where it can occur:
Many people of Asian descent use anglicized names. That may be a preference for some, yet often it is because others put that name on them out of laziness. If you introduce yourself as Qi-Ling, you have a right to expect people to call you that. You do not have to put up with someone calling you Keeley because it is easy for them or “Keyring” because they think it is funny.
“Be a sweetheart, Sheila, and go and make the coffee,” is not alright even when you are the junior tasked with making coffee let alone when seated at the meeting table with others of equal status. Yet some people continue to treat others as lesser due to gender or race.
“We’re going to the bar tonight for a few drinks. I’d ask you, but you Muslims don’t drink.” That and many other stereotype-based comments fail to consider you are an individual. Besides, even if you choose not to drink alcohol, it does not mean you do not go to bars.
It’s difficult to succeed in bringing a workplace discrimination case for one comment alone. Noting down the continual microaggressions, you suffer can help you build your case.