Today’s modern workplace is one that is inclusive, diverse, and collaborative. This is partly due to advancing technologies like the internet and open concepts and environments.
People from all over the world are more connected than they’ve ever been before because there is a need to collaborate for the projects they are working on and produce an outcome that is favorable for them and the company in general.
There is also more care for the company’s culture and the employees’ morale, mental health, and work-life balance. By making these a priority, employees have become more productive and happy, and the company more successful. However, this is not the case for all organizations.
Defining Workplace Discrimination
Recently, discrimination has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. All over the world, many instances of discrimination, ranging from gender, race, age, disability, citizenship status, sexual orientation, medical condition, marital status, religion, and national origin, to name a few, have been put in the global spotlight.
Unfortunately, the majority of these types of discrimination occur in the workplace. Work or employment discrimination can be defined as treating someone in the workplace differently or less favorably than others because of their race, color, age, religion, sex, gender identity, and so on.
Employment discrimination also includes harassment by managers and co-workers, denial of reasonable workplace change based on religious beliefs or disability, improper questions about or disclosure of genetic or medical information, and retaliation from the company after an employee files an investigation or lawsuit against them.
There are many instances of unconscious bias and workplace discrimination, some beginning even before an employee starts working with the company. Even during the hiring process, a company can discriminate against an applicant.
Common Types of Discrimination and Their Effects
The International Labour Organization (ILO) blames the continuing discrimination on prejudices, stereotypes, and biased institutions that have resisted legal efforts and policy measures made by governments, organizations, workers, and employers against unequal treatment at the workplace.
The most common types are subconscious and systematic or institutionalized discrimination. Subconscious discrimination or unconscious bias is the behavior that stems from learned stereotypes that will automatically show up when interacting with people. This type can be harder to prove because it is more subtle unless reflected in its atmosphere.
Systematic or institutionalized discrimination occurs regularly in the workplace because it is an inherent part of its culture and practices, thereby creating a disadvantage for people who are different from their more preferred employees.
Aside from being morally wrong, discrimination in the workplace often traps people in low paid, informal economy jobs. Meaning, the discriminated population will get stuck in the worst jobs and be denied benefits, social protection, training, capital, land, or credit. What’s more, women are more likely to be engaged in the more invisible and undercounted activities than men.
The ILO presented a report that shows those who suffer from discrimination, particularly based on their sex and race, face a persistent equality gap. This gap divides them from dominant groups who enjoy a better life or benefit from anti-discrimination laws and policies.
Workplace Discrimination in Numbers
Since it was established in1997, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been investigating charges of discrimination against an employee or job applicant and enforcing laws that protect employee rights. It has received over 1.8 million complaints since then.
Workplace discrimination is illegal in the U.S.; however, studies have also shown that despite state and federal laws addressing discrimination based on race, there are still biases against hiring black and Hispanic employees in over two decades.
Of the 1,889,631 discrimination complaints EEOC received from 1997 to 2018, 49% were cases of retaliation, 34% were race-related, 32% disability, and over 30% were based on sex. From the total number of cases, 64% were officially dismissed as having found no issue after investigation, while only 3.2% were considered for legal action.
In addition, 18.3% were closed for administrative reasons, 8.1% were settled, 4.8% were withdrawn by the charging party, and 1.4% resulted in an informal resolution between parties. According to the government agency, cases closed for administrative reasons include the charging party deciding not to pursue the case, lack of communication, or withdrawal request from the charging party.
Steps to Take Against Discrimination
In light of the high numbers of discrimination cases, companies should work hard in eradicating workplace discrimination. But this can be done successfully only if everyone is involved in promoting a culture of equality and diversity and equal opportunities for all. Here are some ways to reduce and eradicate workplace discrimination in your company:
- Analyze your current employee population and form a committee for equality and diversity. Ensure that the members came from diverse backgrounds. Set goals and policies that would enable the company and the employees to grow. A company that embraces diversity will reap the benefits of having a wider talent pool, which translates to improved productivity, a broader market, and a raised profile within the community.
- During the hiring process or recruitment, treat all applicants fairly and equally. Evaluate each against the same set of criteria. Another way to evaluate applicants fairly is to have a panel interview so that more than one person gets to decide who the best candidate out of all the applicants is.
- In terms of compensation and benefits, ensure that no employee is compensated any more or less than their other colleagues based on their race, sex, gender identity, religion, or disability. Offer the same benefits that all employees in that level are enjoying. For employees with children, offer both maternity and paternity leaves.
- Review your current work policies and processes, or ask a lawyer to review them for you. Make changes wherever necessary. These may include implementing a comprehensive equal opportunities policy, training employees in sensitivity and diversity issues, providing accommodations for those with disabilities, and setting disciplinary actions. Establish open communication to report incidences of discrimination and treat them seriously, sensitively, and confidentially.
- In the office, install wheelchair ramps and other accessibility options. Have a room where employees can do prayers, mothers can pump milk, and they can have some quiet time. Make sure that all employees can access the same office facilities and amenities.
- When it comes to promoting an employee, ensure that all have an equal opportunity for promotion regardless of their sex, gender identity, race, etc. At the same time, provide equal opportunity for training and ensure that everyone has access to mentors.
End Discrimination Today
Discrimination in the workplace will not vanish by itself, but failure to eradicate it helps perpetuate poverty, creating an intricate web wherein the discriminated will continue to experience a low quality of life or social exclusion.
By eliminating discrimination, individuals, businesses, and society at large will benefit: a boost in one’s self-esteem and morale, enhanced productivity and competitiveness of companies, and a better economy.
2022 Construction Trends You Need to Know
Just like all other industries in the world, the construction business is always going through changes. The people behind it are constantly developing new materials, finding ways to recycle old resources, and introducing new technological developments in the picture. All of these things changed in 2020, though, with the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s safe to say that this is something that’s going to keep influencing our lives and our work in the years to come as well. With that in mind, here are some of the most important changes and trends that are going to shape 2022 in the world of construction and what these trends mean to you.
Unlike lots of other industries out there, the construction business has always been centered around the issue of safety. This is quite understandable, of course, especially if you know that accidents and unnecessary problems at the construction site can result in injuries and even death. However, since we’re all living in the middle of a pandemic, it’s no wonder that the construction industry has developed a few new ideas when it comes to safety.
In addition to providing all of your staff on the site with the most basic protective equipment that’s supposed to keep them safe and sound, you need to take things to another level from time to time. Introducing new safety features such as new goggles, visors, and welding leathers might not seem like the best way to spend your money, but this is an investment that’s certainly going to pay off in the end. That’s why updating your protective equipment is one of the most important changes you’re going to witness on construction sites all over the planet in the future.
Exploring new and old materials
This is another vital issue in the construction community, and the problem with new and old materials is constantly bothering us all. Things are quite simple, though, and it all comes down to the fact that we have fewer and fewer new resources we can use in new construction projects, but that’s not the only problem. An even bigger issue is that very few people know how to solve this issue.
Luckily, there are a few ideas to explore. First, think about recycled materials you can use over and over again. These are already around you, and the only thing you have to do is find them and make the most of them. This will minimize your construction and building costs without forcing you to compromise the quality of your work, and that makes this a win-win scenario. Also, think about new and innovative materials that are constantly being developed all over the world. Cutting-edge solutions like modular bamboo, laminated timber, and pollution-absorbing brick will transform the world of construction in 2022, so learning more about them as soon as possible is a great way to maximize their benefits.
Another way to be the best you can be in 2022 is to use different software solutions and apps that are available to different professionals in the construction industry. Whether you’re a designer trying to make the most of the space you’re given or a general contractor who just wants to do everything in accordance with the plans and the regulations – sticking to different software solutions is always an amazing idea. These solutions can help you do more work in less time, keep you organized, and make sure you’re doing everything right, so trusting them is certainly a great solution.
What’s even better is that there are so many different software ideas out there, which means everyone can find just the right solution for them. If you’re dealing with equipment, for example, you might think about looking into reliable construction equipment fleet management software that will help you complete all your tasks in no time at all, making sure your equipment is safe and well-maintained, and that’s the dream of all construction professionals out there.
Drones and robots
If you’ve ever felt that the construction industry is similar to SF literature and movies, you’re quite right! With so many drones and robots entering this industry every single day, it’s no surprise that more and more people are relying on them to do their work for them. And since they’re doing that quickly, successfully, and cheaply, they’re better and more efficient than any human being can be.
An even more exciting thing is that these things are here to stay, at least when it comes to the construction industry. They’re already changing the construction industry as we speak, with their 3D printing, land surveying, and other practical features, and they’ll continue doing so in 2022 as well. So, if you wish to make your life easier and your construction company more lucrative, embracing these drones and robots is something you need to do ASAP.
As you can see, the construction industry will remain just as versatile, inspiring, and trail-blazing as it is right now, so turning these ideas into reality and learning about a few more might be a great way to go in 2022.
The Vagrancies of Modern Love
The world we live in today is all about freedom: Freedom of expression, the freedom to be who we are, the freedom of choice. The impact of this ideal of choice on our civilization has been staggering. The average consumer is spoiled for choice by businesses and brands competing for their attention and patronage and egged on in their search for perfection in everything.
Speak a word against the ideals of freedom and choice and you are a pariah. However, sometimes I wonder if the wave of commoditization created by the overabundance of choice is always a good thing?
I first started thinking about it while speaking with a dear friend. Successful, intelligent and witty, he is doing very well in his life. However, he is lonely, to the point that he calls me up everytime he gets drunk to talk about his latest romantic misadventure. These calls are a weekly occurrence now, and on every call I find that the subject of his affection and subsequent heartbreak has shifted.
“She was a wonderful person really, but our schedules didn’t match.”
“We had so much in common, but our political views were completely different.”
“I thought I had found the one this time, but she told me I was too cold.”
After every such conversation, he dives back into the latest trending dating app to continue his search for perfection. Ironically, while each of these heartbreaks chips away at his faith in finding his forever, they also make him more grimly determined to push on.
Paradoxically, because almost everyone puts their best foot forward in the initial few days of the relationship, he and others like him find themselves in a position where their list of what they want and do not want in their partner continues to grow, courtesy of their growing list of experiences until now, where his expectations from his would-be partner are so extensive that I honestly and regretfully doubt anyone’s ability to fulfil them.
I tried gently pointing it out to him once: “Life isn’t like legos, you don’t just find someone who fits you. You have to be willing to work with them to mould each other to fit each other, while giving each other the time and space to grow and evolve in your own right. There will be challenges and even fights, but you have to be willing to work through them.”
“But it is hard, and what if the person you spend all that time and effort on is not the one? There are so many options available on these apps, why not rather spend that time finding someone who fits me as closely as possible?”
In short, modern dating apps are like the lottery or a get-rich quick scheme. You can strike luck, but unless you are willing to put in the work on strengthening your connection, prioritizing the other person and working with them to get to a point where both of you add value to each other’s life, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment after disappointment.
And unlike the lottery, the costs here can very well be higher: Not just your time, but also your emotional capacity and mental well being, as like Sisyphus’ labour in the underworld, we window shop and skip from person to person in a fruitless search for true love on dating apps.
I recall a line from Anurag Mathur’s delightful book The Inscrutable Americans, where a naive Indian student on his first trip to the States is advised by his much more experienced American friend after his first heartbreak to “staple the pieces back together and move on, just don’t do it too often!”
Of course, dating applications have a lot to recommend them too. They are an easy way to find love, and get the opportunity to connect with diverse people. However, the way they have commoditized one of the strongest and most vital human emotions has brought us to a pass where we wouldn’t recognize love if it was staring us in the face. Our generation is much more likely to move on to swiping right again at the first sign of trouble, instead of putting in efforts to make things work with the person we are with.
This is not a call to stay in toxic or unhealthy relationships, merely to recognize that relationships are like seeds, they must be nurtured and require effort, time and care to grow, a fact that is increasingly being lost in a world of super likes and boosts, and temporary infatuations that end in a moment of anger. And in a world where everyone is rigid, where everyone thinks they are right, and where everyone wants to win, the victory can often come at the cost of this true love all the poems and stories talk about.
I will leave you with an excerpt from a poem by Frank Mandarano:
Trials are not easy, and you feel there’s no hope.
There are times when you feel you’re at the end of your rope,
But you must go down deep in the pit of your heart.
Let it stop your despair and give a new start.
For true love for each other is a gift some never get,
So when that trial comes, don’t ever forget
That there is a rare thing we share that had to come from above,
And those trials will end; what got you through was pure love.
But hey, what do I know? I am a loser too!
Building Thought Leadership From Scratch for Your Business
One of the biggest SEO difficulties that companies report dealing with comes in the form of link building. This SEO method involves companies reaching out to 3rd party entities and asking them to add a link to your website from their own, this is called a backlink. Because backlinking is one of the driving forces of SEO, conquering it is crucial to your company’s Google ranking and, ultimately, your success.
Perhaps the reason this has proven to be difficult for companies is that it is, for the most part, out of their control. Whereas content and technical edits can be controlled by your team, link building relies on the generosity and buy-in of individuals outside of your organization. While it’s understandably hard to ask for help and to rely on others to help build your success, we think you’ll find that most people are more than willing to help.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve this SEO method, it’s found in the concept of “thought leadership.” If you’ve never heard of this term, thought leadership is simply when someone speaks about ideas or topics and demonstrates that they have certain expertise in a particular field or area. It’s used often in content marketing and social media as a way to increase your authority and build trust with your customers.
Beyond its basic definition, thought leadership is also one of the most organic and holistic ways to incorporate link building into your company’s online strategy. Plus, it offers your business the ability to build its brand and credibility while simultaneously building links to your website.
You can use this tactic in your online strategy by reaching out to third parties and asking them if they would be willing to partner with your company by allowing you to appear on their website in the form of contributor articles, podcast appearances, and interviews. You’d be surprised at how many businesses are eager for opportunities like this as it changes up the content on their video, website and adds interest for their customers.
Getting Started with Thought Leadership
Before you start letting the “imposter syndrome” kick in, you should know that there are many businesses and people who are more than willing to be a part of this process and they’d be eager to partner with someone like you to start building thought leadership on their website. Most companies would benefit from hosting guests on their podcasts or posting a review of a product or service because they’re constantly looking for new content to create.
The obstacle that most companies face when looking at getting started with thought leadership is themselves. People are their own worst enemy in this pursuit because they don’t feel qualified, but we’re here to tell you that you are.
Start small to start building your confidence by looking for opportunities around you. Speak at community events or do small-time interviews for smaller sites. If you own a company selling a product or business, chances are you can speak for at least twenty minutes about what you do or what you offer. The more you practice this skill, the more you’ll develop it and gain confidence.
Bridging Thought Leadership and SEO
Once you start putting yourself out there and finding new opportunities to contribute your knowledge, you’ll find that people will want to learn more about certain concepts that you share. By looking for these little nudges, you’ll find opportunities for natural conversations in which you can bring up the topic of link building.
What did you speak about that was of particular interest to this person? Whatever it was, point them to a related resource on your website and ask them if they’d be willing to put a link to it on their website. Did you speak about scaling your business for success? Well, that’s the perfect opportunity for a link back to your blog where you spoke about the same topic.
Be ready to explain what the link can do to help build your business and also how it could benefit them. Perhaps they’re needing to build credibility and partnering with an established company can lend a voice of expertise. Do they need to increase their own link building? How about offering to add a link to their website from yours as a quid-pro-quo arrangement?
The more backlinks that your website has, the more you’re going to move up those Google search results so bite the bullet and have honest conversations about what you’re needing and how it can benefit everyone involved.
Thought Leadership Leads to SEO Success
While it can be anxiety-inducing to be vulnerable, organic conversations like these are what will drive your link building and, ultimately, your SEO ranking. In case you need the reminder: your SEO ranking is what drives your sales. While this is widely considered the hardest part of SEO, it’s a large deciding factor in how Google sees your website. So, push past your fears and doubts and start developing your thought leadership skills and go get those backlinks!
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