Microaggressions At Work: The Macro Effect


ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Women are twice as likely as men to be interrupted. They’re also twice as likely to get comments on their emotional state, and according to the latest Women in the Workplace report, women are one and a half times more likely to have a colleague take credit for their work. The findings reinforce that women face these types of microaggressions much more than men.

“Microaggressions are the subtle actions, comments, behaviors, even social policies, media that offend and, or hurt. Usually someone of a marginalized status,” says Anne Bubriski, PhD a Director for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Central Florida

Although you may not know it, you’ve probably witnessed it. Phrases like when a white colleague tells a black co-worker “You’re so articulate.”

Three types of microaggressions include behavior, which occurs when messages contain actions, terminology, or symbols that are insensitive. Environmental microaggressions include a lack of diversity in the workplace, and verbal microaggressions happen when someone says something rude but in a nice way to veil their disrespect.

These subtle sayings and signs can have a big impact on performance, leaving employees, especially women, questioning the value they bring to the company.

“They call it kind of like paper cuts. Each one is a little paper cut, and it’s not so bad if you have one or two. But then after a while, you accumulate these paper cuts, and it becomes this big cut and a deep wound,” said Anne Bubriski, PhD a Director for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Central Florida.

Companies can help by focusing on having a diverse workforce at all levels and consistently offering diversity training. Keep a watch on what’s going on, conduct regular surveys so employees can speak their truth, and have open communication so people who feel marginalized can speak out about it.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor

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