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How do you deal with a racist client?

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Woah. I would end that relationship. I’m not compromising morals for any project ever

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I PERSONALLY would not have a relationship with any individual that is racist. Socially or through work. I even stated in my comment that I as an individual would not keep that relationship. And would not want to compromise MY own morals. What’s your issue with me not wanting to serve a racist client. Hop off

Let your boss know and get the F off that project.

You can’t change people!

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Even bosses have bosses! 🙄

He/She can go to a senior partner, office lead, market lead.

Oh - lovely - I keep it professional and I make sure they fing know they are being racist, by having open meetings where others are present where I am on top of my game and letting them be their racist self in their commentary and reaction to me owning that room . And I also make allies, especially people around them, because they usually can tell if something is off. I’m a brown, Muslim, woman and I for sure have had these instances w/ clients- calling clients out is nearly impossible and leadership doesn’t “see” it, so I feel your kind of left to deal with on a personal level - and for me it’s being my best self and letting the racists/sexist/Xenophobes be their worst selves and expose themselves to their colleagues and consultants. I can bet you won’t change their minds but you will remind them that you can’t be f-Ed with- especially as a partner in your case.

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You don’t.

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I would check with our HR department for advice. They have scenarios and suggestions on how to deal with it. And if something goes south you have engaged the firm / the right people beforehand so protects you as well. Good luck

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Also, document everything to present a full case to HR when you need it.

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You have to be honest about your values and that such attitude doesn’t fall in line with your culture. If they are ready to accept and be cognizant of it, good, otherwise you have to take a decision to step out or whatever works for you. You cannot deal with or serve every person in the world, even if that deal gets you millions of dollars. Reputation risk is bigger than most people realize.

Roll off that project as soon as you can. It’s never worth it.
If you’re feeling generous, find a way to educate the client without damaging the relationship.

It’s more complicated. There is one person that is racist and is essentially asking for a white person to be on the stage with them in a conference. I am the boss on this one, probably should let the management in the firm know.

And it’s implied racism, should I wait for something more concrete before reporting it officially? Has anybody been in the same situation? What happens after you report it?

Implied Racism is tricky. Your consideration is noble, and I should remind you that if you intent to pursue this path, then the most critical evidence you need is proof of intent.

I’m sure you understand that without this you’re at risk of being painted as the person that cried wolf and apart from your credibility being hit and a risk to the account relationship, other harder to deal with repercussions could float down to your team - for eg the client could become very cold in their treatment of your team and remove all flexibility afforded to them. Worse still, if your bid at calling out their racism falls through, then your credibility and reputation will have fallen low enough that your attempts to further protect your team will likely be seen as you overreacting.

To be clear I’m absolutely in support of you pursuing this. You just need to figure out how to get proof of intent by way of actions. Taking into consideration the scenario you mentioned, one of the ways I can think of off the top of my head is to create scenarios of free choice where the racist client (of their own volition) shows that they always choose to go with:
1. The same person of race “A” over all the people of other races
2. Any person of race “A” over the person of minority race “B”

If you only have proof of scenario 1, they can go with the tactic of “highlighting a smaller fault to hide their larger crime in the dark” by admitting to favoritism or nepotism

If you only have proof of scenario 2 - they can possibly go with the tactic of finding petty faults that paint the person of race B as being incompetent and counter evidence to the contrary by claiming misunderstanding and confusion.

Hope it makes sense (kinda/sorta) :-) good luck OP

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As a professional, the same way you deal with a non racist project. Let your internal management team know what’s up, but you execute your project to the best of your ability without responding to them.

If you cannot, then you lower your value to the company.

Not the popular statement, but it is the attitude of a professional. Learn to work with anyone because you never know who your next client will be.

And yes, people that work for me tell me they love working for me. If you wouldn’t want to be on my team, odds are you would never get hired because a version of this question is asked in interviews.

Imagine the headline if this got out. You're not doing your firm any favors by rolling with it. Don't just report this to whoever has power to change the situation or relationship, but make sure they follow through.

Of course it does. But things can get picked up at any point

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