In the blog post Stack Overflow Isn’t Very Welcoming. It’s Time for That to Change., SE started to grapple with how unfriendly it was to newer coders, women, people of color, and others in marginalized groups.
I am sad to say I feel that The Workplace suffers from that same syndrome, very heavily.
The recently deleted question about a coworker making unsolicited comments about their appearance is just the latest in a long pattern of questions where a poster expresses concern about inappropriate comments or behavior that can be considered sexist, racist, or similar and then
Is dumped on by the community in comments and answers, in some variant of doubting their story, objecting that the behavior "might be innocent and not sexist/racist/etc in the offender's heart," told to not do anything, told "I'd like that/I don't think that happens," told "well what about me I got discriminated against for being X once", and all the other traditional institutional tricks to ignore and minimize problems like this
The occasional actual female/POC/etc voice in comments or answers saying "yes this happens a lot" is often ignored
Then the question is often closed and/or deleted as "having no place on the Workplace," as apparently navigating institutional bias in the workplace isn't on topic for the Workplace
I don't want to argue about this most recent question, whether it "was really a troll that needed deleting" or not. It's part of an overall pattern. I've been here on Workplace for years and I am not surprised that not many women or POCs or people out with alternate sexualities post here - if I were them and came here and participated in any of these posts I'd feel unwelcome and go somewhere else too.
Bias in the workplace is a workplace topic. I've worked for enterprises that have people do basic diversity and bias training and all this behavior shows up prominently in workplace training videos as examples of "don't do that." It's possible to do better on Stack Exchange; I was a mod for 10 years on RPG.SE and while that's a pretty skewed demographic base too, we managed to curate an inclusive environment pretty well I think.
This has been asked about before, e.g. Casual sexism in The Workplace, but largely just ends up blaming posters for not being better about their post to a bar other questions, in my opinion, are not held to. (Searching "discrimination" on Meta shows a bunch of questions where reopening had to be escalated to Meta because people love to close them.)
Even if you don't agree with some of my examples, or about how bad of a problem it is, I think we can probably do better than we're doing right now, right? If nothing else, the lack of under-represented voices here now is unfortunate and could stand to change.
How do we do better?