Social Equity: Race and Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

Social Equity: Race and Sex Discrimination in the Workplace



Social Equity: Race and Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

            There is need to investigate and find conclusions as to matters pertaining social equity and most importantly those revolving around race and sex discrimination in the work place. Without social equity in the society, there really would not be a balance. Discrimination in any place of work by either gender or racial background should be outdated. There is need therefore to find out about these social inequities. It is important to identify the discriminations and come up with solutions on what can be done to curb them. The efforts of the public administration to promote justice, fairness and equality for all people in a certain place of work irrespective of their sex or race are vital. Johnson & Svara (2011), define social equity as the fair, just and equitable management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract. It is also the fair and equitable distribution of public services, and implementation of public policy; and the commitment to promote fairness, justice and equity in the formation of public policy.

Equality means that each individual is treated in the same way as others. Fairness means that all people should be treated consistently following the same standards and procedures without bias or favoritism (Johnson & Svara, 2011). The law protects workers against discrimination in their places of work in areas such as dismissal, employment terms and conditions, pay and benefits, promotion and transfer opportunities, training, recruitment and redundancy. The Equality Act was put into law in the constitution and it protects employees and workers from sexual and racial discrimination. The Act of 2010 protects workers in areas such as recruitment, terms of employment, access to training and promotion, access to benefits, facilities/services, dismissal and certain post-termination situations (Johnson & Svara, 2011).

            As Cohn (2009) explains, direct racial discrimination happens when an employee is handled indifferently on racial grounds. He continues to describe it as when the employer applies for a workplace provision, criterion or practice, which puts employees of a particular race, ethnic or national origin at a disadvantage when compared to others. The employer cannot show it as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The article reckons however that this may be more difficult to prove than direct sex discrimination and normally requires inferences to be drawn from the circumstances  On the same article sexual discrimination is described to occur when an employee receives unfavourable treatment from the employer because of’ his or her sex. It states that it is also unlawful to discriminate against transsexuals or people in same sex marriages.

            Race and sex discrimination come in two types direct and indirect. Direct sex discrimination comes about when a person of the same sex is treated less favorably as compared to another simply because they are of different gender. Indirect sex discrimination is brought about by certain conditions that are set to favour a person of one sex over the other. Similarly, in race discrimination in the workplace, there is both direct and indirect discrimination. Direct racial discrimination is evident when someone has been treated with more favour, as compared to the other in the same circumstances because of his/her race. Indirect racial discrimination comes about when certain people are unable to meet the terms, which are set and apply to everybody, because they fall in a certain race.

            Social equity is characterized by fairness, justice and equality. It is all about being fair, and just to everyone at work regardless of his or her sex or race. Men and women continue to work in jobs that are labeled male and female. According to Cohn (2009), the likeliness of men working in a specific job and women in another is referred to as ‘occupational sex-typing’ the process he continues to say has huge costs for the men and women’s economic well-being. He goes on to note that women continue to be in relatively less advantageous occupations than those held by men. Equality in work places should see employees either men or women get equal amounts of salaries for equal amounts of work done of the same value. They should also be entitled to all benefits that come with the job. For instance, a woman should not be denied the benefit of a company car or house if her work position equates to it.

            When an employee has been discriminated against, there are several ways to go about solving the whole dispute. The first way is to get a remedy is to place a complaint within the first three months. If the complaint goes through successfully, then a tribunal is set to hear the employee’s grievances. The employee, who claims to have been discriminated against, must have evidence to support his or her claims. According to the Bowling Green State University (n.d) research, he or she must show that indeed he or she was treated differently in comparison to someone else of a different race or sex. In this case, the employee must have proof of how the other was treated as compared to him/her.

            He/she must also show that there was no lawful and just reason why the employer treated them differently. In this case, the employee must prove to the tribunal that the other party had no other qualities like having higher ratings, possessing more qualifications, or having more experience on the job than him/her. Finally, he/she must be able to show that someone who is very similar in position, rank, or job duties, and who is of a different sex or race was treated more favorable under similar circumstances. The employee must show that they indeed know if the other person worked under the same rules and regulations as him/her.

 The answers provided by the employer when summoned in front of the tribunal or in other some cases lack of the answers act as evidence whether indeed there was or there was no discrimination. If an employee’s complaint is heard by the tribunal and they decide that indeed the employee was discriminated against, then the employer is ordered to compensate the employee but only if there were forced damages, injury of feelings or loss of earning on the side of the employee.

In conclusion, it is very evident that race and sex discrimination still exists in many workplaces. In order for there to be Social equity in the society, the discriminations starting form the work places that may be so minor all need to be resolved and there are many ways of resolving that as put above. There is need for management of any company or organization to see to it that race and sex discrimination is terminated as this can also lead to negative outcomes in terms of work done. Having done this, the bid by public administration to promote justice, fairness and equality for all people will have been met and thus social equity.


Bowling Green State University. (n.d). What is Evidence and What it Take to Prove Discrimination. Retrieved from 1

Cohn, S. (2009). Race, Gender, And Discrimination At Work. New York: Westview Press.

Johnson, N. J., & Svara, J. H. (2011). Justice for all: Promoting social equity in public administration. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe.11-12

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