Racial Discrimination in STEM Careers


Racial discrimination is any discrimination against someone based off of their skin color, racial or ethnic origin. Some examples of racial discrimination is refusing to do business with someone based off of their ethnic origin. In 1964 the Racial Discrimination Act was passed, this made it illegal for anyone to discriminate someone based off of the color of their skin, descent, nation or ethnic origin. Before 1964, people of different color and descent were discriminated against white people. Some examples of this are some of the STEM Careers during the time period people of color weren’t making a lot of money compared to white people. People of color also got lower positions compared to them. 


In STEM careers people of color are known to not get as much support compared to white people. Some people have felt like they have been discriminated in their careers but since it’s not outright plain discrimination they are unable to go to the union and file a case. “I would say that there were some positions where I felt like I should have received since I qualified for them but people got the positions that were less qualified.” Normally when someone would get a position that was less qualified people would work a bit better and try to take on tasks they haven’t done before that way it would take off some of the excuses that were given to them when they wouldn’t get a position. Discrimination can also be noticeable in meetings, when people are reporting or sharing their projects people of color are questioned more and are not recommended help from other coworkers. Meanwhile, non people of color have support in their projects and are asked what they need in order to improve their work. 


Some foundations are finding more ways to make STEM Careers more diverse. “It is pretty diverse already, what they are working on is to make sure that with being diverse that the treatment is fair as the foundation is diverse. This is because a lot of times within life the treatment isn’t fair for those of color, especially those of African American descent. Even if you are of color whether it is Indian, Asian, or Hispanic descent the African Americans typically get treated the worst because they are typically known as the less educated out of the bunch. The difference between the Hispanic culture and the African American culture even if it might not balance out as far as education wise, they’ll always give the Hispanics the edge because they work harder. So they are considered as the hard working and African Americans are considered as the lazy workers.” In STEM careers African Americans are mainly the ones that are considered “lazy” and not trying their best to complete projects.  “Majorities of white, black, Hispanic and Asian STEM employees view racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace as at least somewhat important, but there are wide racial and ethnic differences in the degree to which they consider it important.”


For some people that are working within IT, if you work within the private industry with your degrees you get paid a lot more. “If I was to receive what I should be receiving I would need to work in a private industry. For me to be working in the government doing what I do with my degrees I should be making more in private industries. In the government I may be a little bit underpaid but I have both a bachelor’s and a master’s so if I was in private industry I would make a whole lot more.”