Code switching is adjusting oneself in order to fit into a social or professional setting and is usually done when you are the minority. It can be done consciously or without you knowing it.

“Because dominant culture is white, whiteness has been baked into institutions as natural, normal and legitimate,” explains Chandra D.L. Waring from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Code switching would not need to happen if people of colour were accepted for their cultural differences. A reluctance to code switch can lead to negativity and discrimination.

Some will feel the need to subdue their personality at work as their office may be quite formal, and outside the office they are not. This is not code switching and should not be confused.

Code switching cannot be a long-term solution because it is mentally taxing to constantly be someone or something else for a sustained period of time. In any walk of life, let alone work.

Workplaces need to foster a truly inclusive culture that allows everyone to feel comfortable. It isn’t enough saying how inclusive you are, it needs to be reflected in the staff, the social events, the way in which work is carried out.

Everyone should be able to add value at work, therefore, various people’s opinions can be considered when embarking on a piece of work.

In social settings, one can alter their language to fit in with the crowd that they are socialising with at the time. As this can be done unconsciously, you may not even know what you are doing. It’s usually when you hear yourself say certain words, and you then become conscious.

We’ve received a few examples of our network code switching which we've included in our latest book.

#codeswitching #adeptales #stayadept #racism #antiracism #inclusion