Asians around the world talk about discrimination in the workplace

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Asians around the world talk about discrimination in the workplace

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 answered one investigation in October last year reported that they experienced discrimination in the workplace, which represented an increase of almost 15% in six months. The pandemic worsened dramatically in the country during that time, with coronavirus cases increasing from 4,862 to 27,109 between April and October last year, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

Asian Australians also suffered a disproportionate reduction in working hours last spring, which “was more than twice as high” for the rest of the population, according to researchers at the Australian National University, who conducted the study. They noted that there were “a number of possible explanations” for the difference, including “that discrimination against Asian Australians in the workplace may have had an effect.”

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

“It is likely that the high representation of Chinese and East Asian people in hard-hit sectors such as hospitality is part of it, but direct discrimination from employers may also play a role,” said Frances O’Grady, secretary general of the Trades Union Congress. coalition of unions, told CNN Business.

The coronavirus outbreak was first detected in China last year, which led to some politicians to blame the country for the crisis. Victims and community groups say it has encouraged more people to show hostility towards those who are perceived to be of Asian – and especially Chinese – descent.

CNN Business spoke to 38 workers in 11 countries who reported having experienced or witnessed bias in a variety of ways since the beginning of the pandemic, from explicit harassment to subtle micro-aggressions.

They are of various Asian ethnicities, 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.