Asians around the world talk about workplace discrimination

Asians around the world talk about workplace discrimination

Published June 7, 2021

It’s not just on the streets, and it’s not just in the United States.

In Australia, 66.4% of Asian Australian respondents to a survey last October reported experiencing workplace discrimination, which represented an increase of almost 15% in six months. The pandemic has worsened dramatically in the country during that time, with coronavirus cases increasing 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 decline in working hours last spring, which “was more than double the decline” for the rest of the population, according to researchers from the Australian National University who conducted the study. They noted that there are “a variety of possible explanations” for the inequality, including “that discrimination against Asian Australians in the workplace may have had an impact.”

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

“Sure, the high representation of Chinese and East Asian people in hard-hit sectors as hospitality is part of it, but direct discrimination by employers can also play a role,” Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress. , a British coalition of unions, told CNN Business.

The coronavirus outbreak was first detected in China last year, prompting some politicians to blame the country for the crisis. Victims and community groups say this has encouraged more people to show hostility to those perceived as of Asian – and especially Chinese – descent.

CNN Business spoke with 38 workers in 11 countries who reported experiencing or witnessing bias in a variety of ways since the onset of the pandemic, from explicit harassment to subtle micro-aggressions.

They are from various Asian ethnic groups, including 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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