Unit 4: Racism at workpalces

First year of work experience are not always easy! Young people graduate from universities and start applying for a related job in their field and most of the time they get an internship or assistant position for few months and then they get the position! When I moved here, In my first year experience as an HR assistant, I worked for a company’s HR manager for 2 years. It was in the first few months of my moving and like other non-native people who live in the USA I was learning English because my mother language is Farsi. My boss was American and unfortunately, he was a racist person who just prefer to hire American people. When I had three-step interview with 15 different applicants at the same time, I was the only one who passed all the exams and in last step, I had an interview with this guy and 3 other managers and he was the only one who was disagree to hire me. But while the rest of them were agree, they hired me. I had to work with him directly and he obviously ignored me as his assistant. In my training weeks, every time that I wanted to ask him about the process of work such as daily reporting, he told me I’m busy now and email me your questions and at the same time, he answered other assistant’s questions very politely. I would say I had a positive feeling to my first workplace in general because my manager was the only person who had bad behavior to non-native employees but he caused that I’ve never forget my first experience!



Have you ever met other people at workplace that you really got along well?

Or even met some people at work with whom you don’t? have you ever thought that what can be cause for these different feelings about others?

Usually we expect others to be just like us and this basic judgement cause to get along with them and if they fail to meet our expectation, we don’t like to work with them. All people prefer to work with someone who behave like themselves, but the problem is it will never happen and people are different and each person has specific personality with individual differences. “individual differences are almost exactly what they sound like: the particular aspects of people that make them different from other people. For example, height is a biological individual difference that makes one person different from another” (PSU, 2019).


A majority of reasons would be included in why and how people are different.

Our childhood, the way that we raised, our parent’s personality and some other reasons. “Personality is the category that most psychologists think of when they are discussing the notion of individual differences. For our purposes here, we will only mention that when we are referring to personality, we are talking about the “type” of person that we regard someone as” (PSU,2019). Each person has different experience in those situations and when they start new work, each of them bring many desires, concerns and challenges from home.

One of the important questions in this subject is what is the best way to understand people with differences?

In some cases such as the one that was described above, some people judge others based on their “biological individual differences such as sex and race bus also much more personal individual differences” (PSU, 2019). These differences are related to people’s genetics and they don’t have any effects on those. When people behave with others based on these differences, they would behave in an unethical way and they would effect on employees performance. According to American Psychological Association (APA), one of the general principles is Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity, which claims “Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status, and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices” (APA, 2016).


When employees get upset at workplace many times, the anger or frustration is only triggered by one event but really is related with another event. Sometimes we forget this. We make lots of assumptions at workplace and we always label others at work. When we label our coworkers, we forget that how our emotions are influenced on labeling others and our behaviors. Our emotions is an important part of our core personality and the way we view the world and others.

People are complex and they behave as a combination of reactions based on how they have experienced and how they thing in the world. “The best strategy for developing people at work is to value the difference” (Craig Nathanson phD, 2015). HR professionals know that diversity increase organization’s creativity and also conflict at the same time. By increasing self-awareness, we will accept ourselves in the way we are and also we will be able to accept others with all differences and individual personalities.




PSU (2019). L08 Personality. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1963919/pages/l08-personality?module_item_id=25808478




American Psychological Association. (January, 2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct: Including 2010 and 2016 amendments. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/


One Comment

  1. Juwan Levine March 22, 2019 at 8:56 PM #

    Hello, Azadeh, I am sorry you had to go through that. No one should have to go through racism at work. I agree that we need to understand that we label people. However, as humans we learn as children to group everything together by likeness and things we are unfamiliar with turn out to be scary or unsettling to us. The way we are brought up when we are young affects how we treat others in our adulthood. Biodata seems like a big topic but when you break it down, nothing really makes us different race-wise (Penn State, 2019). We are still all human. We just have different skin color, different backgrounds, and languages. Our families and our situations shape who we are when are children. This doesn’t make us any different but I feel like when we can not relate to other people or try to understand other people they are foreign. When they are foreign to us we allow ourselves to treat them unfairly because they are not real if we can not relate to them. I feel like if we spent more time building relationships on how with people we do not understand and find something we have in common, we will be one step closer to eliminating all biases. Did your manager ever fully embrace you or treat you any better?

    Penn State, 2019. Lesson 8: Individual Differences . Retrieved https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1963919/pages/l08-biodata?module_item_id=25808481

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