Any kind of discrimination on the job is not only intolerable but it is also simply illegal. Not only that, it can lead to a very uncomfortable and even sometimes hostile work environment. This does not only mean for the person that is being discriminated against but for everyone working there. If left unchecked it could cause people to lose their jobs and have to start all over with a new job search. Remember not only do federal laws exist to protect against discrimination your employer also should be responsible for having anti-discrimination policies in place. However; these things can be hard to enforce and it may take employees some effort to fight it.
Even if the discrimination is not directed towards you, if it makes you feel uncomfortable it is your duty not just your right to speak up. A lot of people don't care to hear jokes that deal with prejudice or are off color in some way, but how many of us stand up against them? Very few will say something. You have the right though to let the person know that you feel that his or her jokes are not appropriate and that you'd appreciate it if they would not make such comments anymore.
If you happen to be in a group that is often discriminated against, prepare yourself. This is the best way to battle against it. Keep a positive attitude, be professional at all times and always continue to be a productive employee. Be the exemplary employee, it is truly difficult to refuse someone a raise or a promotion for instance if your employment record is flawless.
If you are the one who feels like is being discriminated against because you may be noticing those with less qualifications moving up the ladder a head of you, take it up with your immediate supervisor. Before you call out discrimination you need to see if maybe it is actually something that you do need to do to improve your performance. But, if there is no reasonable explanation for it, you may be being discriminated against and your questions may be a red flag for your supervisor.
Consider joining or even starting a diversity mentoring and or recruiting program. You can ask other employees that are considered a minority that are in upper level positions to offer advice on how to get farther with your career and then pass that kind of knowledge down to other employees. Also work with your employer on creating strategies to help recruit people who can do the job well but also add a little bit of diversity to the company.
Learn when to fight and when not to fight the battle. If you feel that you tried everything you could to try and fix the problems at work and you still feel discriminated against or you believe that others are being discriminated against despite your efforts, it might be time to simply consider the fact that it's a sign that you just may not be in the right environment. It may be time that you start considering looking for a more positive work environment. Remember, discrimination in the workplace whether it's against you or someone else is not something that you have to endure as an employee.