Fighting Anti-Semitism in the Workplace

November 2, 2022

Kanye West’s recent statements have sparked another rise in anti-semitic remarks and attacks across the nation. Experts say these sentiments are mirrors in fact to the hate that first arose in the 1930's. Many fear that with the global economy hitting another all time low similar to that of the 30's, we will unfortunately continue to see such anti-semitics rise. At Accent, we're committed to helping create inclusive work environments. Here’s some best practices to make your employees feel safe and welcome, no matter the current socio-political climate.

-Zero Tolerance Policy: Work with the company's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team to create a specific company policy which clearly outlines an absolute zero tolerance regarding hate speech and discrimination at the company if one does not exist already. Have leadership promote this policy with clear direction that the company will not stand for any hate, including anti-semitic rhetoric.

-Involve ERGs: It's imperative to hear directly from the community that is currently being affected. Leadership should partner up with the faith-based employee resource group to hear and support employees' needs during these trying times. Don't have a faith-based ERG? Now is the perfect time to band together such an interest group that is dedicated toward religious tolerance for all.

-Share Do's and Don'ts: Don't leave any room for interpretation. Create a clear checklist of actions and rhetoric which are can be considered anti-semitic. Pair this list with a list of actions that allies can take in order to support their fellow Jewish coworkers if they ever witness such situations. This removes all doubt on what is considered anti-semitic or not.

-Establish Points of Contacts: Reiterate the exact points of contacts on the HR or People Ops team who employees can reach out to if they ever need to report cases of microaggressions or blatant acts of hate. Reestablishing that these resources exist will empower employees to report situations either anonymously or not, which will then create a safer work environment for all.

-Promote a Safe Space: Through an ERG or not, establish a space where all employees can freely talk about how current events are affecting them. It's important to give employees a safe space to express their emotions in a healthy manner, which will also help employees connect to one another.

Let's all work together to promote acceptance and inclusion in the workplace and beyond!

Written by: 
Omama Qureshi