Could technology help reduce discrimination?

If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, one of the most frustrating challenges you can face is expressing how that discrimination has affected you. Too many people downplay this unfair treatment or assume that a person is simply overreacting or being overly sensitive to certain behaviors, actions or statements.

But the fact is discrimination is not just illegal: it is painful, upsetting and capable of seriously jeopardizing a victim’s career and well-being. Unless people understand that, the issue of discrimination can be incredibly difficult to address. This is where virtual reality technology may be of some help.

Reports by NBC Sports indicate that a lab and the NFL have teamed up to create a virtual reality demo tool that allows users to virtually experience discrimination in the workplace.

The tool will apparently put the user in situations where he or she can is in the position of someone who is being discriminated against. Being exposed to those scenarios in the virtual sense is believed to be more effective at teaching people about discrimination than other techniques, like videos or training seminars.

This technological solution plays on the fact that many people find it difficult to truly grasp a specific concept unless they have been in a particular situation. A person might know discrimination is wrong, but without being subjected to it, that person might not actually appreciate what discrimination is and how it affects the lives of victims.

The NFL, which has its own history of problems with harassment and discrimination claims, hopes that virtual reality will help give players and staff members a better perspective of how devastating this type of misconduct can be and ultimately lead to a reduction in these situations.

What do you think? Do you think virtually experiencing workplace discrimination and harassment will help to reduce such conduct?

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