A stereotype refers to an oversimplified perception, idea or view of another person. Stereotyping often contributes to discrimination in the workplace, as illustrated by Dathan (n. p). Discrimination occurs when individuals or specific social groups are treated differently or unfairly due to their unique characteristics, such as foreign accents and skin color. Stereotypical perceptions are used to measure discrimination as they often lead to prejudice or discriminatory actions. Research evidence reveals that minority immigrants have an increased risk of being discriminated due to their fluency, level of education or gender (Preston et al. 1). This means that stereotypes on non-native speakers predispose them to the risk of being discriminated at the workplace. The discussion in this paper seeks to support the argument that stereotypes on non-native speakers should be dropped as they contribute to discrimination and discourage diversity within work environments.
Studies on historical relations between whites and minority groups, such as blacks and Latinos indicate that non-native English speakers affected by discrimination and prejudice (Dovidio et al. 60). The discrimination members of minority groups experience within the workplace is based on negative stereotypes developed by native English speakers. Many of the stereotypes on minority workers occur because negative perceptions related to non-native accents and cultural background. It is notable that a non-native accent is one of the main characteristics that indicate an individual’s cultural background. Dathan (n. p) reports findings of surveys revealing that some employers discriminate job applicants during hiring due to their accents. This means that non-native speakers are treated unfairly in employment, which is against the spirit of promoting cultural diversity, creativity and innovation in contemporary organizations.
According to Preston et al. (3), employers underutilize the skills of non-native speakers because they fail to appreciate their professional credentials. It is the negative stereotypes that employers develop on non-native speakers which cause them to disregard their professional competencies. Therefore, employers should drop negative stereotypes on non-native speakers to encourage diversity in the workplace, which is advantageous in developing diverse skills, experiences and competencies in a workforce. In addition, employers should be exemplary in embracing the competencies of non-native speakers to discourage negative stereotyping and discrimination in the workplace.
Dovidio et al. (60) indicates that stereotypes and prejudice against non-native English speakers such as Latinos are well documented in research literature. These stereotypes and associated prejudicial actions are attributed to negative ideas on the language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Similar studies in Britain reveal that 28% of employees say that they face discrimination at work due to the manner in which they speak (Dathan n. p). Employees who are discriminated to stereotypes of their cultural background would lose morale and become less productive. This is why all organizations should promote diversity, such as by implementing policies that prohibit stereotyping and discrimination against non-native speakers. In this sense, employees from different cultural background will feel appreciated for their contribution towards the success of their organizations.
Stereotyping at the workplace is associated with negative attitude and ideas about the social status of non-native speakers (Dovidio et al. 64). This shows that negative stereotypes against immigrants makes native English speakers to feel more empowered, leading to discriminatory tendencies and actions against non-native speakers. Dropping negative stereotypes against non-native speakers will contribute to their social and professional empowerment and the development of productive work environments. According to Dovidio et al. (74), Latinos and blacks are commonly discriminated against at work due to negative stereotypes such as criminality. These negative stereotypes on non-native speakers disadvantage them in access to employment and professional growth opportunities. For example, employers who associate criminal behavior with immigrants due to stereotyping would be reluctant to hire non-native job applicants.
Preston et al. (8) report research evidence indicating that non-native speakers with good language skills also face discrimination at work. This discrimination is attributed to negative stereotypes that make native speakers to fail to recognize the language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Dathan (n. p) illustrates non-native speakers try to hide their accents but this does not help to stop the prejudice they face at work. Notably, white immigrants who exhibit fluency in English receive no or little discrimination at work as compared to non-whites (Preston et al., 10). Therefore, dropping of stereotypes on non-native English speakers is a necessary strategy of preventing unfair treatment or discrimination at the workplace.
In conclusion, organizations need to implement effective measures of mitigating negative stereotypes and associated discriminatory tendencies against non-native workers. It is through this that employers will be able to take advantage of the skills of non-native speakers and to develop highly productive or diverse work environments. Negative stereotypes on non-native English speakers blind native-speakers to an extent that they do not recognize the unique talents, abilities and competencies of non-native English speakers, which are necessary in solving work-related problems and improving creativity and productivity. Policies that discourage stereotyping and associated discriminatory tendencies are recommended for all organizations as they are prerequisites to developing a culture of diversity and improving performance at work.