Here is an article I wrote for JewishSNews.co.uk all about the way that “woke” culture is affecting our legal system.
Introduction: What is ‘Woke’ Culture and How Does it Relate to Employment Tribunals?
In the current age of increased awareness and sensitivity, ‘woke’ culture has become a widely discussed topic. It is a term used to refer to an attitude of being aware of social justice issues, particularly those related to race and gender.
Some have interpreted ‘woke’ culture as an ethos similar to that of intersectionality; the idea that different identity groups are not the same but have intersecting identities which need to be considered in order to combat discrimination.
In this context, “woke” can also refer to people who recognise struggles in their own life (for example being a working-class white woman), as of those who support others’ struggles (being a working-class black or Asian woman, for example).
‘Woke’ culture can often include awareness around gender and race issues, as well as other social issues such as class, sexuality and ableism.
The concept of intersectionality was first coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a legal scholar and African-American feminist. The term began to be used in the late 1980s to describe how different forms of discrimination intersect and lead to oppression. ‘Woke’ culture encourages people to take into consideration multiple aspects of their life when interpreting situations, including gender identity, race, class, sexuality, ability level etc., which can help with understanding how different forms of discrimination exist, and which, bearing in mind the shift towards the constant use of social media, can create a maelstrom of different types of people all agreeing with and supporting each other.
In turn, this leads to a public shift in attitudes towards something – here tolerance, anti-racism, anti-fascism etc, all contained under the ‘woke’ banner – as it becomes seemingly mainstream due to the volume of publicity and published material about it. This changes people’s long-held beliefs and attitudes, often publicly, therefore reinforcing the ongoing circle of change.
This changing attitude is increasingly becoming more relevant in the workplace, as employers are now required to be mindful of these issues when making decisions about their employees.
Can this new ‘woke’ culture relate to or affect employment tribunals, and will it be used as proof within the legal system in areas such as tribunals and matters of workplace discrimination?
The Potential Impact of ‘Woke’ Culture on Employment Tribunals
The rise of the ‘woke’ culture has had a significant impact on employment tribunal cases. In recent years, workplace discrimination law has been increasingly challenged by employees who feel their rights have been violated and are much more inclined to be vocal about it than in previous years.
From gender and racial discrimination to religious intolerance, employers are now being held accountable for their actions more than ever before.
In the modern era of total visibility and accountability, should employers be afraid to treat their employees as they would have previously? Surely good employers will continue to be good, while the bad employers are the ones who will be dragged into the daylight?
On the face of it, that seems to be a fair and truthful reflection of how society is moving. Towards a greater era of scrutiny and accountability, out of which can only come good because all those who were previously bullied, abused, or discriminated against can finally stand up and say ‘enough’.
But how is this policed? What about the fake claims, and the protection for the employers who fall victim to falsehoods from vengeful or malicious employees, jealous competitors, and the like?
Surely within this new era of accountability, there are cases being heard, and judges making decisions on public opinion and sentiment rather than fact, that actually cause damage and harm to reputable businesses.
There’s an uncomfortable truth here that may take some time, or some careful planning of new laws, to rectify.
Examining Recent Cases to See If ‘Woke’ Culture Has Influenced Outcomes
Although no peer-reviewed published information can safely be said to fall into this category yet, there are going to surely be several studies done on this phenomenon in the near future.
Cases being decided on public opinion with little or no bearing on the facts, and all because society has had a collective awakening towards ‘wokeness’ cannot always be a good, or safe, thing.
On the other hand, and it’s only a fair essay and assessment here if we do examine both sides if the burden of proof has been lowered for the employee/victim then there will be more instances of genuine corporate bullying, victimisation, and discrimination brought to light.
This can surely only be a good thing….providing the pendulum doesn’t swing too far the other way, and so we continue our discussions and thoughts….
‘Woke’ Culture in the Workplace
It seems both fair and true to say that, as this essay is written, it truly does appear that ‘woke’ culture is becoming increasingly popular in the workplace and is having a significant impact on employment tribunal outcomes.
As we’ve already discussed, it can help to reduce workplace discrimination and promote diversity.
And as I think we’re all seeing in the world today, it can also lead to a lack of objectivity in decision-making and potentially create an environment where certain opinions/voices/actions are not even tolerated, no matter the circumstances.
What Can We Learn from These Cases About the Future of Employment Tribunals?
The recent rise in workplace discrimination cases has sparked a heated debate on the implications of a ‘woke’ culture on employment tribunals. As more and more cases come to light, it is important to take a closer look at what we can learn from them about the future of employment tribunals.
By examining the trends in workplace discrimination cases, we can gain insight into how employers are responding to woke culture and its implications for employment tribunals. We can also gain insight into how these cases are being handled by courts and what impact this has on employers and employees alike. By understanding the trends in these cases, we can better prepare for the future of employment tribunals and ensure that justice is served.
Of course, as noted above, there needs to be a lot more peer-reviewed evidence published yet, however, it seems reasonable to state that employers are probably at greater risk than they have ever been and that the pendulum of power has swung towards the employee.
Will it continue?
Written by Stephen Taylor, Propaganda CEO
Exclusively written for JewishSNews by Stephen Taylor