Does Your Company Discriminate?

Yes, some companies do mistreat employees. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself or, if necessary, take action.

an attorney can mediate a situation before it has to go to court.

Workplace Survival Strategies
While there is always the possibility of being discriminated against, there are ways to strengthen your position within a company. Morris makes suggestions for clarifying possible mixed signals and workplace ambiguities.

Develop a goal-oriented career map. Outline your goals and have your progress supported by annual performance objectives developed with your managers, Morris insists. “How can you defend why you did not get a promotion, become successful or get a raise when you don’t have a road map for your career?”

It will also help you determine how compatible your vision is with the company’s mission statement.

Find a mentor. “The manager who sits with and hears you express your professional goals or vision and involvement in a company is typically the person who will see that these things happen,” says Morris.

Mentors can help discern your company’s corporate politics and best explain the corporate culture. They teach you how to operate in the work environment. They can also identify high-visibility projects for you to target.

Always think business. To be successful, professionals — black and white — must demonstrate the ability to add value. “I think it’s important for employees to always remember — and there is some confusion sometimes — this is not a social construct,” Morris says. “It is a business environment. It is in place to make money. The way a company can assist that process is to create an environment that encourages and motivates the willingness of all of its employees to contribute value.”

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