The Harmful Effects of Familiarity Discrimination on Workplace Diversity

The Harmful Effects of Familiarity Discrimination on Workplace Diversity

Working in a diverse and inclusive environment has numerous benefits, including better innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills. However, familiarity discrimination in the workplace can kill diversity, hinder growth, and breed resentment in employees.

What Is Familiarity Discrimination?

Familiarity discrimination occurs when employers favor individuals who share similar interests, backgrounds, race, or religion. Employers might also assume that individuals who are similar to them would be a better fit for the company culture, leading to unfair hiring practices.

How Familiarity Discrimination Affects Workplace Diversity

Familiarity discrimination has dreadful effects on workplace diversity. First, it makes it difficult for underrepresented groups to get hired, leading to a homogenous workforce. This lack of diversity has numerous negative impacts, like reduced creativity, hindered innovation, and poor decision-making.

Second, familiarity discrimination creates a toxic environment where employees feel undervalued, discriminated against, and excluded. Such an environment leads to feelings of confusion, stress, and anger, affecting productivity and employee morale.

Real Examples of Familiarity Discrimination in the Workplace

There are numerous examples of familiarity discrimination in the workplace. For instance, an employer might refuse to offer a job to someone from an ethnic minority, claiming that they are looking for someone who fits the company culture. Similarly, an employer might favor a candidate from their alma mater, even though another candidate has the necessary skills and qualifications.

Another example is when an employer promotes people who look and think like them, leading to a lack of diversity in leadership positions. This trend inhibits diversity and inclusion in the workplace, making it difficult for women, underrepresented groups, and people of different ages to break the glass ceiling.

The Importance of Workplace Diversity

Workplace diversity is essential for a company’s success. Diverse workforces have better results in problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. Additionally, diverse teams provide different perspectives and insights, leading to better decisions and lower risks of groupthink.

Moreover, a diverse workforce reflects the community it operates in, leading to increased customer and employee satisfaction. This trend means that businesses with diverse workforces have better branding, higher customer loyalty, and increased revenues.

How to Combat Familiarity Discrimination in the Workplace

To combat familiarity discrimination in the workplace, organizations must implement conclusive strategies that promote diversity and inclusion. For instance, employers can consider anonymizing job applications, removing names, ethnicity, or any other personal details during the recruitment process. This action reduces familiarity bias and increases the chances of marginalized candidates getting hired.

Organizations can also implement diversity training programs that help employees identify and eliminate discriminatory behaviors. Such programs are essential in creating a positive workplace culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Familiarity discrimination is harmful to workplace diversity and must be eliminated. By creating inclusive practices, organizations can help create positive cultural shifts that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ultimately, this will lead to a better, more productive, and innovative workplace culture that reflects the broader community.

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