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Survey finds nearly 40% of Canadians experience workplace racism

A new study, Race Relations in Canada in 2019, conducted by Environics Institute for Survey Research, has found that one in five Canadians experiences discrimination regularly or from time to time.

While Canadians surveyed said a significant number of these incidents occur “on the street,” an equal number, nearly 40 per cent, said they experience racial discrimination in the workplace.

Some of that, according to the study, takes the form of day-to day experiences involving subtle slights or insults, such as being treated as being not as smart or mistaken for someone who serves others.

The Environics survey was conducted online between April 17 and May 6 with a sample of 3,111 Canadians 18 and over.

It has also been observed that obvious and callous racist slurs and name-calling in the workplace has largely come to an end, but what is on the rise is little things that can undermine people of color. Comments about one’s accent or being mistaken for ‘help’ and small subtle things.

The term for this is micro-aggressions. It is so subtle that many times it is hard to even acknowledge to oneself that it is a form of racism.

The survey bills itself as the first of its kind in Canada to look at race relations at a national population level and to examine Canadians’ experiences, attitudes and perceptions.

On a more positive note, the survey also found optimism. For example, six in 10 say they are very (14 per cent) or somewhat (46 per cent) optimistic that all racialized people in Canada will be treated with the same respect as other people, in their lifetime.

Things in one of the world’s most diverse cities is changing too slowly for many racialized individuals. -CINEWS

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