Offensive statements and jokes are commonplace where I work. The words degrade women, other cultures, homosexuals, emotions, sensitivity, and differences in neural capacities. But nothing is done that really stops it. I spoke up about an imbalanced workload, and my leaders did nothing of substance. When my leaders decided I'd done something wrong in a meeting, I wrote a thoughtful response to them. It included reasons why I'd been having a difficult time in the area. I spoke about the racism and sexism. This response was passed on to Human Resources. All that happened was that other managers used my words as reasons to withhold a job from me. Oh, and HR did what they consider an investigation and determined that they could not substantiate my words.
The place plasters itself as a "diverse and progressive" entity, and it's so far from that when you experience it at a daily level. As I continued to work after the investigation and after being declined a job for unjust reasons, they kept up their offensive words. My drive and ambition slowly diminished. I began to understand that I am not on a fair playing field, that my concerns will not be taken seriously. This unspoken rule became clear: to get ahead at the organization, you must be white and male or female and stereotypically feminine: beautiful or concerned with your appearance, constantly giving more than you ask for yourself, frequently asking others for advice, dependent on a more knowledgeable (usually male) source. As a confident, competent, and expressive minority female, it's been demoralizing to go to work most days. My hair fell out at one point. I didn't believe this kind of work environment still existed in such a terrible manifestation, and then a couple of years ago I thought I'd landed my dream job!