Attacked at work, rejected for jobs and harassed by colleagues: Asians around the world speak out on discrimination in the workplace

Asians around the world speak out on discrimination in the workplace

Posted on June 7, 2021

It is not only in the streets, and it is not only in the United States.

In Australia, 66.4% of Asian Australian respondents to a poll Last October, they reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace, representing an increase of almost 15% in six months. The pandemic dramatically worsened in the country during that time, with coronavirus cases rising from 4,862 to 27,109 between last April and October, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

Asian Australians also suffered a disproportionate drop in working hours last spring, which “was more than double the drop” for the rest of the population, according to researchers from the Australian National University, who conducted the study. They noted that there were “a variety of possible explanations” for the disparity, including “that discrimination against Asian Australians in the workplace may have had an effect.”

In the United Kingdom, the employment rate among Chinese fell 4.6% from the first quarter of 2020 to the second, almost three times more than the decreases experienced by other ethnic groups, according to government data.

“The high representation of the Chinese and East Asian population in the most affected sectors such as hospitality is likely part of it, but direct discrimination by employers can also play a role,” said Frances O’Grady, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress. , a British coalition of trade unions, told CNN Business.

The coronavirus outbreak was first detected in China last year, which some politicians blame the country for the crisis. Victims and community groups say that has emboldened more people to show hostility towards those who perceive themselves as of Asian, and especially Chinese, descent.

CNN Business spoke with 38 workers in 11 countries who reported experiencing or witnessing prejudice in various ways since the start of the pandemic, from explicit harassment to subtle microaggressions.

They are of diverse Asian ethnicities, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino.

Here are 11 of their stories.

CNN Business spoke to dozens of people around the world.

Read, watch or listen to some of their experiences of racial discrimination in the workplace.

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