Red flags on equality and diversity in the workplace

Religious and ethnic vulnerable and marginalised communities, particularly Muslims and Indigenous Peoples, face numerous obstacles in accessing professional opportunities and ensuring sustainable career paths in the Philippines.

The systemic disempowerment of Muslims and Indigenous Peoples translates into discriminatory hiring and employment practices, meaning they cannot equally access employment opportunities or safe workspaces. In this context, safety does not just refer to physical safety. An unsafe or exclusionary workplace culture means that minority employees cannot fully express their identity and enjoy workspaces.

This 'Red Flags' guide on creating an accessible and inclusive workplace aims to address issues raised in roundtable discussions conducted by the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) and International Alert with Muslim and Indigenous Peoples communities across Mindanao.

The red flags presented here identify actual instances of discrimination occurring from the hiring to the termination process. Each principle details why these common acts are considered discriminatory and makes recommendations based on existing good business practices. A red flag is a warning of heightened risk to help companies in the Philippines avoid participation in discrimination against minorities and be accountable in cases where they are liable.

Human resources, legal counsel, reputation managers and others involved in risk management will find this a useful guide. It will also be useful for minorities who seek to better understand their rights, and to civil society and policy-makers advocating for the enactment of a sharper articulation of the protection of minority rights in the workplace.