According to the Merriam-Webster’s Online dictionary, the word prejudice means: “preconceived judgment or opinion; an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge; an instance of such judgment or opinion ; an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics.”
The word discrimination means: “prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment”.
Prejudice and discrimination can range from racial to social to sexual to work related.
Discrimination at work can take many forms.
European women complain about being held back in the business world because of the preconceived notions of chauvinistic male colleagues.
“Research released by Catalyst and the Conference Board shows that most senior managers believe that the opportunities for women to advance have not increased over the past five years” (Top women held back by male prejudices at work). Surveys have pointed out other reasons for this slowed progress, including family commitments, lack of management experience, insufficient mentoring.
About 1800 people were interviewed in a survey carried out by Mori, a market research organization. They found that ageism was the most common form of discrimination, almost 37% pointing out this factor. “Thirty two per cent of disabled respondents said they felt that managers ignored equal opportunity policies. Twenty per cent of black adults said they had been discriminated against in some way at work, as did 16% of all ethnic minority respondents. A higher percentage of black respondents felt that discrimination existed in the workplace, 62%, compared with 31% of white respondents.
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