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Moon Memos

Diversity and Inclusion: Part Three

By July 8, 2021July 9th, 2021No Comments

With the launch of MOONHUB’s training suite just round the corner, and the first set of modules focusing on professional D&I, we quizzed four young working professionals on their experiences in the workplace.

Emma*, 27

Onboarding: Whilst being inducted, have you ever come up against challenges that were not considered by your new employer?

Looking back to one of my previous roles, there was a major accessibility issue of which, in hindsight, would have meant that no one with a physical disability could have physically worked in that office space. The office was located in a converted house, and so corridors were very narrow, and there was no step-free access to even get into the building. Additionally, all offices were upstairs with no lifts or means of accessing that space without using the staircase.

Unconscious bias: Have you ever witnessed an example of another individual acting on an unconscious bias in the workplace?

I have experienced being treated differently based on my gender in the workplace; whether having been expected to be the person in the meeting to get the teas/coffees in; whether I’ve been assumed to be of a more secretarial role; whether I’ve been assumed to have no knowledge in the STEM field; the most annoying is to having been completely ignored in a meeting full of men and my voice felt invisible.

Microaggressions: Have you ever been witness to a micro-aggression that you felt unable to voice?

I don’t believe I have, however I am sure there have been plenty of incidents that would come under that term if I knew more about D&I/microagressions in the past. I feel this is only really being focused on recently, and so my eyes are far more open when it comes to spotting things. I am also much more confident in the workplace now, and so would have no qualms about speaking out loud if I noticed something inappropriate

Harassment: Have you ever experienced a form of harassment while at work?

Yes. To me, it comes as no surprise that in a recent survey publicised earlier this year that 87% of young women have experienced sexual harassment in public places. Discounting the countless times I have been inappropriately touched whilst at bars/clubs during my time at University, I am really disappointed to say that I have also experienced harassment in a working environment. I’ve had to have work-focused conversations with people who have spent the majority of the time looking at my chest, and I have also had men physically move me out the way by putting their hands on my waist, let alone the time when at a work party my male boss moved past me and put his hand on my lower back.

Jimih*, 27

Onboarding: Whilst being inducted, have you ever come up against challenges that were not considered by your new employer?

Height of shelves unaccommodating for short people in retail.

Unconscious bias: Have you ever witnessed an example of another individual acting on an unconscious bias in the workplace?

Favouritism based around looks with regards to the scheduling of the rota.

Microaggressions: Have you ever been witness to a micro-aggression that you felt unable to voice?

Being made fun of for using chopsticks with lunch, or eating food from my culture.

Harassment: Have you ever experienced a form of harassment while at work?

My manager propositioning me for a kiss during a shift.

Rachel*, 26
Onboarding: Whilst being inducted, have you ever come up against challenges that were not considered by your new employer?

I’ve never had any challenges within my employment personally.

Unconscious bias: Have you ever witnessed an example of another individual acting on an unconscious bias in the workplace?

I have witnessed multiple times unconscious bias at work – too many to mention to be honest but none personally affecting me.

Microaggressions: Have you ever been witness to a micro-aggression that you felt unable to voice?

I’ve heard negative assumptions being made and little comments said outside of the company of the people it was said about. Also cultural generalisations like ‘oh she was black so’ and statements along those lines which is never nice to hear.

Harassment: Have you ever experienced a form of harassment while at work?

No but I have had the odd comment about me being female. For example say something is too heavy to lift or a customer is being confrontational, then a male colleague would always offer to take over. Although, it has always been said in a nice caring way from their perspective.

Dave*, 27
Onboarding: Whilst being inducted, have you ever come up against challenges that were not considered by your new employer?

Yeah, back then I didn’t really have the money to buy new uniform for the role and it wasn’t provided, which was a bit of a sore start. First two shifts were done to pay off travel and the clothes bought.

Unconscious bias: Have you ever witnessed an example of another individual acting on an unconscious bias in the workplace?

Yes, in my current role, a lot of senior execs have a pre-determined stance against me before I speak, usually. In previous roles, not so much.

Microaggressions: Have you ever been witness to a micro-aggression that you felt unable to voice?

Nope, every microaggression that I felt, I voiced fairly swiftly. I.e. I was asked if I sold drugs solely because I was black.

Harassment: Have you ever experienced a form of harassment while at work?

Yeah, when I was working nights at the hotel, there was one night where a woman repeatedly tried to get me to come up to her hotel room… I think they were a swinging couple but it was pretty uncomfortable and management didn’t seem to care all too much.

What has become obvious from open conversation is that there is room for improvement. Conscious effort continues to be made, and adding as many tools to your artillery when it comes to making your employees feel authentically themselves and included, can only be a positive thing.

Interested? Check out our MOONHUB Suite of Training.

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