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There is a segregation trend occurring in American workplaces


When most Americans think about the concept of segregation, they immediately connect it with the civil rights movement and the ways in which minorities in America have been treated in the past. Though discrimination does exist today, surely it cannot rise to the level of segregation, we assume.

However, the kinds of race discrimination occurring in America today may not be as subtle as one might think. According to the new book "Documenting Desegregation," many workplaces in America are witnessing a rising trend of both racial and gender segregation.

Specifically, experts indicate that re-segregation of black and white men in many workplaces has increased since 2000. In addition, re-segregation between black and white women in the workplace seems to have been occurring for even longer than it has for men.

In the last dozen years or so, industries including construction, transportation, securities and commodities brokerages and motion pictures are some of the many fields showing a startling uptick in re-segregation between black and white males.

What does re-segregation mean practically? Essentially, it can be characterized as when two groups fail to work with each other in the same workplace in the same occupation. For example, if one group defined by a certain race and gender worked under the same roof as another, but one exclusively did office work and one exclusively cleaned the building, this would be considered re-segregation of those two groups within that workplace.

Re-segregation can begin to occur gradually, but becomes quite obvious once a business has grown substantially in one way or another. It is vital that American employers and employees remain on the lookout for this trend and begin to combat it wherever it is discovered.

Source: Washington Post, "Many American workplaces are becoming more segregated," Kevin Stainback and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Oct. 25, 2012

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