Week 2 – Blog Post: Experiences with Discrimination

The hypothetical sitiation to examine here is the case where a favorite company of mine has been accused of discriminatory practices.

A situation like this would have lasting effects on me. Regardless of whether or not the ethnicity, culture, or belief system discriminated against was something that I associated with, the knowledge that a certain group of people were discriminated against would certainly change my assessment of the organization.

First though, it would be important to review the situation from all sides. Many times, cases of discrimination at first appear to be damning for the organization or the particular persons involved, but then once all of the facts are revealed it is shown that a situation may have been blown out of proportion or simply misrepresented. However, once the facts have been reviewed and the discrimination is indeed verified, there are serious implications.

An organization is similar to a living organism in that it has a personality, value system, beliefs, and culture. We tend to favor companies that share values and belief system with ourselves, as this provides an alignment and serves as the backdrop for a matching of individual values with organizational values. When we find that there are stark differences in value systems and culture brought on by organizational discrimination, it creates a chasm between who we proclaim to be and the organization that we have aligned ourselves with. When it becomes clear that this chasm exists, the relationship is doomed.

To me, it can be compared to a similar situation when relationship is being developed between two people. Decisions, preferences, styles, and other somewhat superficial characteristics can reasonably differ, but these differences do not create sharp divides between the two people because they are not core, foundational beliefs and values. When a hidden discrimination surfaces in one person, and those backwards beliefs aren’t shared with the other person, it creates an unbridgeable chasm. This is similar with organizations.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 replies on “Week 2 – Blog Post: Experiences with Discrimination”

Hi Matt,
I really enjoyed reading your post, and it is obvious you spent a lot of time thinking about your personal response to this hypothetical situation. I liked that you pointed out how important it is to examine the claims from both sides, and how there is often much more to a story than one side is sharing. I also really liked how you compared organizations and the people within them, and how we tend to like companies that have values and beliefs that align with our own. When it comes to discrimination, it would obviously be hard to believe that an organization with similar values to your own could be capable of what these accusations are saying, and this is why it is important to truly understand your own values and morality, and how to act on them.

Understanding of self is so important. You’re right in that self-understanding is probably the first step, before you can align your own values with that of an organization. You can get into trouble if you do it the other way around, in that you begin to take on the values and beliefs of the organizations that you align with, instead of staying true to self. In this way, discriminatory practices can become simply part of doing business as usual, instead of going against what you truly believe. In the case of attracting and recruiting good people, I always like to see someone who is sure of self, and is able to communicate that clearly (but not forcefully). These people are out there, but they are hard to find, in my opinion.



I share your perspective in regards to the topic, I also enjoyed your analogy to how it compares to a relationship. The so-called “true colors” of a person can be compared to an organizations practices and procedures. While some may be obvious from the start, others can be more difficult to foresee or even identify.


You make a great point. Sometimes discriminatory practices and procedures can be difficult to identify at the start, especially if your judgment is clouded somewhat by your affinity to the organization. In these cases, it always pays off to try and view situations objectively. Of course, in our comparison of the organization to a relationship, this can be difficult as well! Sometimes the realization that a company that you have held in high esteem is actually using methods that can be destructive toward other genders, ages, races, etc. can be a hard hit.


We had a pretty similar outlook on this hypothetical situation.

I spoke about in my blog post the level of discrimination taken place that would alter my thoughts on the situation. As you said, there are times when things have been blown out of proportion without facts or evidence backing things up. However, my decision is mainly affected if I know the width these acts were taking place.

Was it an entire branch of the company committing these acts? A singular employee? I think at times we are too quick to blame an entire company through the acts of one individual. Yet it is still important that the company learns from their hiring mistakes and adjusts accordingly.

Thanks for sharing,
– Jared

Hi Matt,
I really like your idea that it would be important to review the situation from all sides. It’s important to follow up the case to the details about the case. No matter what is the result of the suitcase, it has negative effects to the company. Publics will have the memory that the company is related to the discrimination case. For me, I will follow up the case, then to decide whether to apply the job to the company.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *