Discrimination is the illegal treatment of a person or group based on age, color, gender, race, religion, or national origin. Discrimination also includes persons condoning, ignoring, or failing to correct negative and hostile working environments, where one or more of the discriminatory factors mentioned above is present, during the performance of their duties. All forms of discrimination, such as racism, sexism, and religious intolerance, can occur not just through the acts of individuals, but within the systems, policies, and procedures of an organization. Such unacceptable conduct, if uncorrected, will eventually poison a unit's cohesion and morale.
Characteristics of Discrimination & Examples
- Overt- Sign on the door of a male only club that says no opposite gender allowed
- Covert- Banks or other financial institutions which red-line certain areas for personal or business loans
- Direct- Acts of sexual harassment targeted at men or women in the workplace
- Indirect- Placing a specific (and unnecessary) requirement for a job or a position that would eliminate individuals or groups based on the protected categories
- Intentional- Using discriminatory/ethnic or racial slurs
- Unintentional- Designing and manufacturing weapons to be fired or operated from the right side.
Prevention of Discrimination
1. Being proactive and ensuring that all EO complaints are thoroughly investigated. Addressing incidents of discrimination as quickly as possible.
2. Publicizing Marine Corps and local command EO policy. Stressing leadership accountability and emphasizing teamwork. Stating that discrimination in any form is adverse to mission accomplishment and will not be tolerated in the unit.
3. Ensuring all Marines are aware of the avenues of filing an EO complaint, and actions that will be taken against personnel in substantiated cases.
4. Setting the example by knowing what sexual harassment is and refusing to condone it.
5. USE SOME OF YOUR BASIC MARINE CORPS LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES
- Know yourself and seek self improvement
- Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates
- Make sound and timely decision
- Set the example
- Know your Marines and look out for their welfare
- Keep your Marines informed
- Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
- Train your Marines as a TEAM
- Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities