It is no secret that specific demographics of people are discriminated against in the workforce. Certain races, genders, and sexual orientations are often passed up for job opportunities, despite being more than qualified for the role. However, there are things you can do to thrive in your industry, even when society seems to be stacked against you.
Here are some tips on thriving in your industry despite society’s discrimination.
1. Find a supportive community.
One of the best things you can do to thrive in your industry is to find a supportive community. There are likely others in your field who have experienced similar discrimination and can offer advice and support. Some communities might offer resources, such as job postings or mentorship programs.
If you don’t know where to start, try looking for online communities or networking events. You can also reach out to organizations that represent your demographic. They might be able to point you in the right direction. You can also ask friends or family if they know anyone in your field who can help you get connected.
2. Work with people of the same demographic.
If you’re struggling to find work because of discrimination, consider working with people of the same demographic. This could mean starting your own business, working freelance, or collaborating with others on projects. There are many benefits to working with people of the same demographic. You’ll likely better understand each other’s experiences and can offer support and advice.
For example, if you’re a Black primary care physician, you might consider starting your own practice or working with other Black medical professionals. This can help create opportunities for yourself and other racially marginalized groups in the medical field. You can also use your platform to speak out against discrimination and advocate for change.
3. Work with allies.
Allies are people who don’t experience the same type of discrimination as you do but still want to help fight against it. They can be a valuable resource in your effort to thrive in your industry. Allies can help you by amplifying your voice, connecting you with resources, and offering support. When looking for allies, look for people who are passionate about social justice and have a good understanding of the issue of discrimination.
For example, if you are a woman of color trying to break into the tech industry, you might look for allies who are white women. White women in tech have been fighting for years to increase diversity in the industry. They can offer valuable resources and connections. And, by working together, you can help create real change.
4. Focus on your qualifications.
In many cases, the best way to combat discrimination is to be the best candidate for the job. Focus on your qualifications and let your work speak for itself. When interviewing for a job, be confident in your skills and experience. If you don’t get the job, don’t give up. Keep applying and networking. Eventually, you’ll find the right opportunity.
For example, don’t give up if you’re a qualified woman of color who is constantly being passed over for job interviews. Keep applying and networking. Eventually, you’ll find the right opportunity.
5. Speak out against discrimination.
Discrimination can only continue if we stay silent about it. When you see or experience discrimination, speak out against it. Call out discriminatory behavior when you see it. This includes things like racist jokes, sexist comments, and homophobic remarks.
If you’re the victim of discrimination, don’t be afraid to speak up. Report it to your supervisor or HR department. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, reach out to an organization that can help. You can also file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You have a right to work in an environment free from discrimination.
6. Get involved in activism.
Activism can be a powerful tool in the fight against discrimination. Getting involved can raise awareness about the issue and help bring about change. There are many ways to get involved in activism. You can join a local organization, start a petition, or write letters to your representatives.
For example, if you’re passionate about gender equality, you might get involved in the fight for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. Or, if you’re concerned about racial injustice, you might join a local organization working to end police brutality. Educate yourself on the issues and get involved in the fight for change.
Discrimination is a serious problem, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. You can do many things to thrive in your industry despite discrimination. By networking with other marginalized groups, working with allies, and speaking out against discrimination, you can help create change and achieve success.