Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper

Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper

Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper

In this literature review, the concepts and theories associated with adverse perceptions towards blacks are discussed. Details about the dynamics of stereotypes, biases, and microaggressions and their potential impacts on hiring, and work experiences of the minorities. Generating a clear picture about this is pivotal to capture the experiences of the Nigerian medical professionals in the south.


Diversity is one of the commonly used concepts in the modern workplaces. With diversity and its associated challenges shape the perception challenges facing the Nigerian medical professionals in the south. Burns & Darity. Jr (2020) claim that despite having more conflicts, workforce heterogeneity is more productive than homogenous ones. Likewise, Wilur et al. (2020) argue that a diverse workforce is critical to enhancing outcomes for the increasingly diverse patient population among health facilities.

However, discrimination, which is characterized by unjustified differential treatment of a particular group leaving an advantage or disadvantage to other groups or groups in the setting, is a pertinent challenge in America today Wilson (2016). Stereotypes about various groups of workers shape employee behaviour and actions in the work setup.

The critical attribute of discrimination is an exaggeration of group differences and the subsequent portrayal of one as an outsider or out-group Mong and Roscigno (2019) contend that discrimination tends to be a complicated phenomenon since it incorporates institutionalized prejudice and stereotypes, personal hostilities, challenging conditions of life, prejudiced leadership socialization, and socialized support for hostility against the disadvantaged poor minority group.

Burns and Darity (2020) state that encouraging diversity in workplaces changes the view of ethnicity and cultural difference exaggeration as more people understand the permanence and immutability and perpetuation of group-based behaviours and attitudes.

The most profound forms of discrimination include age, gender, ethnicity, disease, and sexual orientation. Stereotyping and exclusion of people in workplaces based on these attributes affects the workers differently, including in the health sector. Concerning gender, Sethi (2020) asserts that effective workplace diversity includes recognizing the diverse talents and contributions of women in communities and high leadership levels.

However, women continue to experience workplace discrimination more than men because they are considered weaker and less productive due to family attachments (Plickert & Sterling, 2017). Their tendency to combine family and work responsibilities is problematic, especially in highly demanding positions. In “Gender discrimination in the workplace,” Isaacs asserts that in the USA’s pattern of gender discrimination, women have a high likelihood of starting at lower positions or earning lower starting salaries compared to men.

The gap grows with time as more men than women rise to higher corporate levels. In fact, Howell (2017) alleges that the aging baby boomers opt to continue working past the retirement age. However, employers prefer older men to women when recruiting people who are past the age of retirement. Older women are considered less flexible, overqualified, physically and mentally incapable of handling some jobs and too old, and unable to maintain their current positions.

According to Berry (2018 Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper), racism has been a significantly persistent form of discrimination in America today. The primary victims are African Americans. Regarding this, Wilson (2016) claims that professionals from this ethnicity are considered less skilled than their white counterparts by both patients and peers despite their credentials and experience.

Berry (2018) asserts that racism manifests itself in beliefs that one race is superior to the other and uses the beliefs to justify the treatment of the races in the superiority and inferiority perspectives. Besides, Mishra and Mishra (2020) argue that stereotypes leading to discrimination can target those who have medical conditions, such as adults with obesity. With these types of discriminations dominating workplaces, schedules for the African American employees are assigned based on gender, parental role, and workplace experience (Roscigno, 2009).

Black nurses and other health professionals are common victims of stereotyping, racism, and discrimination, affecting their work and perception significantly. Mong and Roscigno (2009) allege that African American men are marginalized in various contexts, including employment, wages, job mobility, and inclusion in trade unions. In workplaces, they experience discriminatory job screening and promotion and continuous racial harassment. Racism limits recruitment, work performance, and growth.

Concerning recruitment, Mong and Roscigno (2009) realized that racial stereotyping and reference to possession of soft skills hamper upward mobility and exacerbate exclusion based on race. Ajanku-Willie (2020) found that the tendency to hire black women by black men was the lowest compared to the Asian, Indian and white women. The probability of hiring them was also similar for both black men and black men having hiring privileges. Sachdev (2020) claims that hiring discrimination in the USA’s labor market deprives immigrants of job opportunities, which occurs during interviews.

Practitioner preference for unstructured interview process despite the evidence that the structured ones are the most appropriate bars employment of ethnic minorities. The structured interviews limit the potential impact of biases on the assessment process, while the unstructured one leads to discriminatory hiring through the personalization of interview questions. Baring the minorities from the top corporate jobs can reduce the urge to pursue career experience and education credentials to propel them into those top corporate jobs.

The critical challenge facing working black nurses, according to Wilson (2016), is that the transparency and acceptance of black nurses by patients and colleagues is low. Patients, including the black ones, have negative perceptions about black nurse abilities, knowledge, and expertise. The racist attitudes also emerge in schedules, where patient and unit assignments are predetermined by race. Regarding this, the worst patient load is usually assigned to black nurses, whose outcomes are wrong, and this shapes the subsequent negative stereotypes about the performance of black nurses.

Regarding growth, visible markers act as hindrances to people of color’s upward mobility potential. Various existing restrictions that are considered non-racist hinder this growth. Most organizations require leaders to have soft skills such as communicating and working with others, which are unique to whites, hence excluding blacks in high-ranking positions. Wilur et al. (2020) contend that while the diversity of the healthcare workforce is increasing, most people of color are in entry-level and lower-paying jobs. The situation reflects the reduced tendency and likelihood of the African Americans to rise in the organizational hierarchy in this sector.

The perception of racism among the perpetrators and victims affects its persistence in workplaces. Berry (2018) views systemic racial oppression as a deeply engraved social issue in American history and a precursor to the present-day white privilege and black poverty and unemployment. In his scholastic assessment, Berry (2018) further notes that black people’s media portrayal amplifies the racial profiling within the justice system, and that the media is to blame for the unfair housing practices, and self-hatred among blacks. The normalization of racism can be established in the unpopularity of segregation and slavery as the causes of blacks’ long-term problems today.

The change of racism from overt to covert across centuries has created a scenario that those not affected directly create an illusion that it does not exist anymore. Mong and Roscigno (2009 Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper) claims that American workplaces have microaggressions that target blacks, indicating that some seemingly neutral organizational policies and sanctions promote discrimination against minorities. Only the normative view of racism and oppression changed.

Accordingly, Mong and Roscigno (2009 Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper) further argue that the explicit bias might be fair in the eyes of gatekeepers given their power and discretion and be legitimated by the dominant ideological themes of colour-blindness and merit. Procedures and rules that look arguably neutral but whose application tends to be discriminatory or used in detrimental ways towards a particular group of people.

LaTrelle (2017) states that African American ex-convicts cannot get employed in the local government because of the stigma associated with a criminal record. Ex-offenders are considered unfit to hold public office, but such excessive background check leads to escalated marginalization. The illusion promotes subjectivity in gatekeeping actors that reflects cultural bias.

Mong and Roscigno (2009 Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper) claim that managers who hire professionals who act as gatekeepers carry nonconscious biases towards out-group members and may not acknowledge their perceptions or action as discriminatory, especially when they do not have constraints. People who rise in the organizational actors have vested interests who invoke and implement broader cultural stereotypes.

Adequate comprehension of intergroup relations and prejudice is best explained by social identity, effects of group behaviour on stereotypes map (Brown & Perhson, 2018). Social identity theory attributes discrimination to humans’ tendency to have a psychological disposition of social categorization and differ from differentiating even group members. The subsequent sires a pro-social behaviour to own–group members and an antisocial one to out-group.

According to Scheepers and Ellemers (2019), the key inspiration for taking sides with own group members is protecting own-group esteem and attaining a positive and unique social identity. Such drive triggers others’ indiscrimination and is manifested through indirect harm to the out-group and giving preferential treatment to the in-group. Favoritism can also occur in regard to evaluation and resource allocation.

The theories explain why supremacist groups such as KKK proudly announce their views through verbalized detestation, hate crimes, and violence (Berry, 2018). Berry (2018) further defines microaggressions as intentional and unintentional behavioral, verbal or environmental insults communicating malicious, derogatory, or hurtful insults towards minority groups. While such comments might not be perceived unlawful, they constitute workplace hostility and can even limit the likelihood of getting a job among the targets.

Ayala (2020) asserts that microaggressions tend to have a cumulative social and emotional wellbeing effect on various groups. The commonest impacts of these microaggressions are race-related stress, physical, mental and emotional strain. Amoakoh and Smith (2020) contend that the African immigrant adaptations are marred by the racist experiences between blacks and whites. Working in an environment where racist slurs are tolerated undermines the productivity of the targets.

Racial microaggressions deteriorate the performance of people of color in various domains and generate inequalities. Sexual microaggressions against minorities trigger complicated feelings such as anger, sadness, fatigue, withdrawal, and safety concerns, which deteriorate physical and psychological health.

The stereotypes map describes discrimination based on the prediction of the effect towards groups (Borown & Perhson, 2018). The map posits that the stereotype content determines the relative status and competitiveness of groups. Treatment of one another ranges from active facilitation, passive facilitation, active harm, and passive harm. The map reflects how pity, admiration, contempt, and envy arise in a discriminatory setup. Affect shapes how seniors treat people of different ethnicities in the workplace (Mong & Roscigno, 2009). White privileges are likely to persist among people occupying top hierarchies are primarily whites and vice versa. 

Berry (2018) argues that racially segregated schools cultivate self-hate among African American children. The scholar asserts that the stereotypes are a form of cognitive bias and that sometimes information challenging beliefs can reinforce them, as indicated by the self-hate among black children. The researcher also alleges that the confirmation bias, which is common among people who hold onto stereotypes, limits the search for evidence that disapproves them. That is to say; a stereotypical person opts to protect the beliefs rather than seek information contradicting it to portray such beliefs as being wrong. Confirmation bias explains the difficulties experienced in changing racist beliefs.

Arguably, nurses’ coping strategies range from self-preserving, intropunitive, self-enhancing, and protecting. Precisely, the blacks resort to silence, distancing, and isolation. Wilson’s (2016) research established themes among African American registered nurses such as connecting with patients and proving self in making the careered a fulfilling dream, being voiceless and invisible, persevering and surviving, and mentoring and role modelling the future professionals.

Black nurses consider themselves not entirely accepted by their Caucasian peers, other healthcare providers, and patients. Invisibility and noiselessness culminate into being overlooked deliberately by patients and peers and a readier acceptance of Caucasian providers to black ones. Amoakoh and Smith (2020) alleges that the migrants’ awareness about racism and the coping strategies differ from the native African Americans because of reduced information and socialization with the US’s brand of racism. The African Americans regularly engage in communicative and socialization processes with nuclear and extended families and learn to navigate American society’s racist landscape. Migrants, on the other hand, opt to live as sojourners in the land of opportunity and opt to control themselves in the face of these microaggressions.

About silence, Nunez Smith et al. (2008) assessment of the cause of workplace silence among physicians of African American descent established that perceived race-related healthcare experiences influence the physical view in the field and professional identities, and there is an increased reliance on external to internal support systems. Their interpretation of racially offensive experiences varies from the non-minority groups, but protecting minority patients from healthcare discrimination remains one of their top priorities. Being avoidant is significantly detrimental in settings where networking is critical such as employment, promotion and hiring, educational opportunity, healthcare access, and promotion.

The workplace problems persist because of the ineffectiveness of the policies formulated to address the issues. As an illustration, Burns and Darity (2020) argue that affirmative action is pivotal to reducing environmental homogeneity and advanced numerical or structural diversity based on race, gender, and other socially salient distinguished attributes. That said, today’s defence or rejection of affirmative action in support of diversity calls for tolerance for the “other,” reducing the negative stereotypes and prejudice moderation.

The current strategies differ from the conventional-race-targeted inclusion that sought to resolve college admission and employment-related racial exclusion. George (2015) asserts that the race and gender-based affirmative policies that demand women’s treatment as individuals rather than groups (often referred to as quotas and targets) trend are misguided. People are treated as members of a group rather than being of a particular gender. Frogner and Spetz (2013) allege that ACA policies are overrepresented in outpatient ambulatory services and private hospitals but underrepresented in the offices of practitioners and medical devices.

Hoopes (2020) asserts that EEOC, with its centralized design and entrepreneurial approach to litigation, has been pivotal to changing the treatment (harassment and discrimination) of farmworkers prone to discrimination. Snyder et al. (2015) confirmed that the USA’s health workforce’s diversity is increasing, but the trend based on ethnicity varies by occupation, with the minority being more represented in the low-skilled occupations. However, the evidence that the current programs of promoting workplace diversity are effective is scanty.

In addition, Ellis (2020) states that NACP is not practical because the champions have different backgrounds. While both black and white women seek respect and recognition, white and black women’s approach to civil rights is dissimilar. White women’s consciousness cannot be the foundation for liberator understanding of racism. Only black women who have been the victims of racist oppressions have a legitimate foundation for the fight for civil rights. Ellis (2020) also claims that the black church has been at the forefront of discriminating against black women by promoting the attitude that black women tend to be conservative and traditional while ignoring those working and participating in politics.

Statistical profiling, which entails discrimination based on the beliefs reflecting the actual distribution of characteristics of different groups, also leads to differential treatments of people. In this type of discrimination, collective beliefs are used to make decisions about the individual member of that group. Notably, the utilization of statistical profiling is inspired to fill gaps where there is limited information. Sachdev (2020) claims that bias arises when the employers feel that short resumes are untrustworthy due to insufficient information about the applicant. This inspires them to look for other signals that are hard to be faked based on general knowledge, including the person’s appearance.

Ruwe (2019) describes how the African American businesses were viewed as inferior and having little or no contribution to the economy of America and consequently failing to generate sufficient employment to African American people, an idea drawn from Franklin Frazier (1957) and being replicated and amplified by the current academia. The current scholars cite the race-evasive approaches and espouse psychological and attitudinal issues as the primary causes of business outcomes.

Ruwe (2020) asserts that the argument is biased because it fails to include the subject’s multicultural perspective. Precisely, there is no consideration of animosity experiences in the daily business interactions among the blacks. Thus, statistical agencies’ tendency to consistently locate the American businesses at the bottom of the USA entrepreneurship performance pyramid (below the Asian, and white entrepreneurs) is flawed.

Ruwe (2019) established that racial discrimination is the primary cause of underperformance among African American businesses. Various institutions work separately to propagate the adverse views about blacks. As an illustration, by featuring the racist views in its programs, the media is significantly influential in the birth and persistence of racist stereotypes. Sethi (2020) also argues that most African women cannot access and be part of the present digital age media.

The review of literature reveals discrimination-related concepts such as implicit and explicit microaggression, biases and stereotypes as the key challenges to productivity of the minority communities in the increasingly diverse workplace, including the healthcare facilities. The concepts precede the formation of in-groups and outgroups, paving the way for discrimination. Sometimes the supporters of discrimination are unaware about their actions and consequences. The review establishes that discrimination has adverse consequences on the minority communities, including self-hate and isolation among the targets.

America acknowledges the adverse impacts of discrimination, but the process of eliminating it has been significantly complex. The policies and measures taken to curb it are ineffective because they assume commonality of the history of the groups advocating for them. The country also thrives in an illusion that it is free of racism, yet some institutions such as media are indirectly championing it with their negative portrayal of the blacks in business and workplace.

References for Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper

Isaacs, E. (n.d). Gender discrimination in the workplace: A literature Review. Women in Computing.

Burns, A. B., & Darity, W. (2020). A BLURRED CASE: The Diversity Defense for Affirmative Action in the US. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 16(2), 341-356.

Ayala, E. (2020). Asexual experiences of microaggressions scale: instrument development and evaluation. (Doctoral dissertation, California State University).

Howell, D.K. 2016). Experiences of women over 50 in gaining or retaining employment: a narrative inquiry. (Doctoral Dissertation. University of Phoenix).

LaTrelle Porter, C. (2017). Exploring the Employability of African-American Male Ex-Offenders in Local Government. (Doctoral Dissertation, Walden University)

Berry, B. W. (2018). Black men’s lives matter: An analysis of the worldwide identity of the black men. (Doctoral dissertation. Chicago School of Professional Psychology).

Ruwe, F. (2019). Demystifying the African American Entrepreneurial gap. A phenomenological approach. (Doctoral dissertation North Eastern University, Boston, Massachusetts).

Workplace Discrimination Literature Review Paper

Frogner, B., & Spetz, J. (2013). Affordable Care Act of 2010: Creating job opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse populations. Washington, DC: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Mong, S. N., & Roscigno, V. J. (2010). African American men and the experience of employment discrimination. Qualitative Sociology, 33(1), 1-21

Snyder C.R, Stover B, Skillman, S. M. (2015). Facilitating Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Health workforce. Center for health Workforce Studies.

Ajanku-Willie, J. (2020). Diversity in employment: A quantitative analysis of awareness in hiring decisions. (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University).

Brown, R., & Pehrson, S. (2019). Group processes: Dynamics within and between groups. John Wiley & Sons.

Mishra, B., & Mishra, J. (2015). Discrimination in the workplace. Journal of Higher Education Theory & Practice, 15(4).

George, J. (2015). Discrimination is discrimination; No matter what you call it. National Post; Don Mills, Ont.

Agnes A.M. (2020).  Empirical Studies of the State’s Treatment of Noncitizens in the United States: A Mixed Method Approach. Doctoral Dissertation. University of California, Berkeley.

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Nunez-Smith, M, Curry, L. A., Berg, D, Harlan, M. K., & Bradley, E.H. (2008). Healthcare Workplace Conversations on Race and the Perspectives of Physicians of African Descent. Healthcare Conversations on Race.

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Scheepers, D., & Ellemers, N. (2019). Social identity theory. In Social psychology in action (pp. 129-143). Springer, Cham.

Workplace Discrimination Assignment Instructions

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Essay: Address the following prompts that impact DEI in the 21st century workplace. Address each prompt using at least 500 words for a total of at least (1500 words).

Describe the gender gap in leadership, wages, and employment.

Define seven types of discriminatory practices in the workplace that do not foster an environment of DEI

Discuss three strategies (best practices) to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work environment.

Assignment Expectations

Length: 1500 – 1750 words; answers must thoroughly address the questions in a clear, concise manner.

Structure: Include a title page and reference page in APA style. These do not count towards the minimum word count for this assignment.

References: Use the appropriate APA style in-text citations and references for all resources utilized to answer the questions. Include at least three (3) scholarly sources to support your claims.

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