I had access to Skype conversation between two employees talking about me in a very offensive way. There were racial remarks, religious remarks and name calling and making fun of my religion. How do I bring this to HR? Since I had sneakingly accessed their Skype which seems unethical, not hacking.
You don't bring this to HR.
Being a racist/idiot/... in a private conversation may be wrong, but it is by no means a punishable offense. In fact, one may even consider it exercising ones right to free speech.
Sneakily accessing this conversation (as you put it) can very well be considered unauthorized computer access (hacking) and is a crime in many jurisdictions. It does not matter here whether you really hacked their computer, or if they forgot to lock their computer and you walked by.
Bringing this to HR will put you at risk, instead of the ones with the attitude problem.
You need to expand on how you got the SkyPE chats. If it is a case you used their machine without their permission, you are liable to get fired.
On the other side of the coin, depending on what country you are in. In harassment cases it is the company that gets sued, not the person who made the racist statement. So HR take this stuff seriously.
So here is what I recommend.
Go to HR. Tell them that you do not want to pursue what you are about to mention, only to bring it to their attention. Mention that you been told by others that various racist comments were directed about you (no exact details were given).
Be adamant that you do not want to mention who told you, as they were embarrassed about it. Also as it is hearsay, you don't want to come out and accuse the people mentioned.
Rather that you would feel the department would benefit from non-harassment training to prevent this from possibly escalating.
This isn't going to stop private conversations, or magically change how they perceive you. It will probably stop them using business resources though.
I am going to address how do you continue to work with them. This is a hard one that I have faced mulitple times being a woman in a mostly male field espcially in the 1980s when harrassment was overt and rampant.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that their poor opinion of you does not become the default opinion of everyone else. To this end, even though it seems unfair, you need to do two things.
First you need to take the high road and always treat them respectfully and courteously. Especially take care to give them credit when credit is due (yes I know you hate them, but tough) and to listen to their professional opinions in meetings and, most importantly, to not lose your temper over what you know they are thinking vice what they actually said. This makes them look especially stupid for things they say about you behind your back and impresses others in the group.
Next, you need to become known as a top performer. You need to do your job better than anyone else in the office to overcome the negative impression these people are probably spreading about you. And if you don't do it now, learn to make sure others know about your successes. Office politics are important for everyone but they are way more important when you have nasty people potentially spreading lies about you. It would serve you well to read some books onthe subject of Office politics.
You can also collect information using legitimate means and document their attitudes if they show them openly and then report it to HR. But honestly, I have found that it is far more effective to make them look small by your good performance and it is better for you personally too. And when you get rewarded for that great performance, it will really upset them. Sometimes you have to say to yourself, "Living well is the best revenge." They will hate your success, so use this as the impetus to go out and be a spectactular success.
HOW you found that Skype conversation is extremely important.
Are you a system administrator or support tech whose job is to regularly access company systems used by other employees? Did you stumble upon the conversation while performing a job-related function on their assigned systems? In that case, you can probably bring it to HR. I.E. you were applying system updates, had to restart the system, and the content of Skype came up on the screen while you were closing applications.
Or are you an employee who accessed a system that was not assigned to you to use or maintain, and you were being opportunistic because they walked away from the machine without locking it? In that case, you should expect to be fired immediately.
If the system was not owned by the company, and was actually owned by the other person who made the comments, that person would have grounds for civil and criminal complaints in most western countries. IANAL, but your situation is exactly what I warn my subordinates about not doing because of the laws that you would have broken.