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  • S. Anne Marie Archer

How to Avoid a Discriminatory Hostile Toxic Work Environment

So, you have just escaped a discriminatory hostile work environment, what steps should you take to avoid landing in another one?

Here are 3 important things you should do to avoid landing in a discriminatory hostile toxic work environment.

1. Research employment prospects BEFORE you apply for the next job.

If you see a job that interest you, before you apply, visit some employer review sites and carefully review feedback from current and former employees. Sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed and InsideVoices. Read the reviews and take the critical ones seriously. If you see feedback that describe a workplace as “hostile”, “toxic”, “abusive” that would be a red flag. If feedback mentions this in the context of Black employees or other employees of color, that’s a double red flag, put that employer on the “NO” list immediately and keep looking.

2. Treat the interview process like a two-way street.

Too many who participate in the recruitment process allow the employer to control it from start to finish. Always remember that you are just as important to the hiring process as the employer. They are seeking to purchase your knowledge, skills and abilities on the open employment market. You should seek to ask as many pertinent questions during the recruitment interview as the employer does. Intentionally think about the things that are important to you and the things you want to know and formulate questions for a potential employer about them. For example, if you see a negative comment about an employer on Glassdoor, followed by many positive ones, ask them about the comment. Ask them to explain it to you.

Also consider asking some of the following questions:

1. Do you have an anti-harassment and/or anti-bullying policy at your organization? If yes, how is it enforced?

2. Does the company hold its management accountable for violation of its anti-harassment, anti-bullying or anti-discrimination policies? How and what does that look like?

3. Does your company support work life balance? Can you explain in practical terms how the company fosters and requires that its management respect work life balance?

4. What is your company’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)? If you collect data on DEI, is that data shared with your employees?

If you are worried about asking these questions in a job interview or an interviewer reacts negatively to your posing these questions that’s a red flag! A signal that perhaps that is not the employer you should consider. An employer committed to promoting a healthy workplace will appreciate employee prospects who inquire about workplace health and work life balance.

3. Seek professional help in recovering from the aftermath of a discriminatory hostile toxic work environment.

If you read my last blogpost for 2022, I shared the I shared What to do right now to plan your exit from a Discriminatory Hostile Toxic Workplace in the New Year. One of the steps I mentioned and I that I want to emphasize here is the necessity of seeking professional help.

Being subjected to discrimination coupled with a hostile toxic workplace is devastating. It is soul breaking and heart breaking. It is something you will always carry with you. But it is something that you can learn to live with and put in perspective if you take the necessary step of intentionally acknowledging the hurt and the harm and working with a therapist and a coach to get to the other side.

Consider working with a therapist to work through the impact of what you are experienced at work. Consider getting a coach to help you strategize a career plan that will help you identify your next opportunity. If your company provides professional development that includes coaching, take advantage of that benefit and hire a coach that will help you meet your career goals not necessarily theirs. There is a lot of anxiety and stress that comes from dealing with gaslighting micro aggressions bullying and intimidation on a daily basis. Don’t try to deal with these things alone.

Here are some resources to consider:

· Therapy For Black Girls

· Black Female Therapists

· The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation

· The BlackWomen Coach Directory

If you need support about navigating and escaping a discriminatory hostile toxic work environment Book a Discovery Call. with me and lets, get you on the path to an exit on your terms asap.

Also consider enrolling in my Hostile Work Environment Escape Strategy Webinar Series


· How to ID a Hostile Work Environment and What to Do Next

· How to Document a Hostile Work Environment & Create an Effective Timeline of Events

· How to Request the Separation with Severance and When to Do it.

· How to Negotiate a Severance and Separation Agreement that Serves your Interest

For more tips about navigating and escaping difficult HR situations,

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HR is not your enemy but they are definitely not your friend, I am. I am the AntiHR, HRLady and I’m here to help.

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