Speaking up against Discrimination in the Workplace



Workplace discrimination is a widespread issue with far-reaching consequences for employees and organizations. To address current and prevent future discrimination, it can be helpful for targets and observers to engage in a confrontation and verbally challenge the person or persons who commit a blatant or subtle act of discrimination. Despite well-meaning intentions to facilitate such confrontations, they remain rare, especially in the workplace. To bridge the gap between intention and action, our discussion sheds light on three main research questions.

First, we address the question of what it takes to confront discrimination. In a series of six studies (N > 1,300), we develop a comprehensive model and validated scale capturing the Requirements to Confront Discrimination (RCD) at the workplace. The RDC scale encompasses four critical dimensions: Identifying Discrimination, Personal Necessity to Confront, Confrontation Skills, and Confrontation Evaluation. 

Second, we answer the question of what makes a confrontation effective. We present selected highlights from our ongoing meta-analytical review of experimental studies (k > 120 studies) investigating the outcomes of different confrontation styles. In our review, we adopt a multi-focal perspective, assessing confrontation effectiveness from the viewpoint of all potential stakeholders, including the target, the confronter, the perpetrator, and observers.

Lastly, we will provide insights into our latest research on how to prepare employees to confront discrimination themselves. We will share findings from a video-based intervention study (N = 215) and introduce an upcoming virtual reality (VR) simulation study at Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

Overall, our research comprehensively addresses the topic of bystander intervention and aims to empower organizations to transform their employees into beacons of light in combating workplace discrimination.

*This seminar will take place in Room T3-42, Mandeville Building. Alternatively, click HERE to join this seminar online.*

Meeting ID: 988 8330 4789 

Passcode: 743266