Quoted: Repeated, daily acts of racism at work — like those some employees described last year — can wear people down, said Jerlando Jackson, director and chief research scientist at Wisconsin’s Equity & Inclusion Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In workplaces where employees of color see that harassment is not handled well by supervisors, they might not speak up about their experiences, Jackson said.
The issue is two-fold, he said: most workers face both organizational and internal barriers to success. So even if companies work to address some of the structural hurdles, employees might be struggling silently if they aren’t given a chance to be heard.
Each person carries their burden differently. Many people in hostile work environments eventually quit or are fired, he said.
“Usually there’s no good end to it, for those people,” Jackson said. “Individuals leave opportunities they spent their whole lives trying to get.”