What are Microaggressions?
Microaggressions are actions of bias, discrimination, and ignorance that lead to exclusion.
Microassaults are the most overt form of microaggressions which show up in the form of slights and insults that can be verbal or behavioral
Microinsults assert prejudice stereotypes making presumptions about an individual’s intelligence, morality, or belonging
Microinvalidations are comments that deny or invalidate the lived experience of a marginalized group
What are examples of microaggressions?
To highlight a few:
Comments to people of color like “You’re so articulate” “You’re incredibly intimidating”
“Can I touch your Hair?”
“How can I get these perks?” Speaking to a person with a disability
Assuming people of color are lower-level employees, not CEOs
“She’s aggressive” when a woman of color is being assertive or confident
Imitating people’s accents
The list goes on.
What Can I Do to Acknowledge and Stop Microaggressions in my Office?
Diminishing microaggressions in the workplace starts with accountability, responsibility, and education. It is not a person of color or those that are experiencing the microaggressions constant responsibility to defend themselves. It begins with leadership.
Make yourself aware of what microaggressions are and how they show up
Educate your team
If you hear something, say something
Be an advocate for EVERYONE on your team
Engage training organizations like REACH to provide in depth education on creating an equitable and inclusive environment
What are the Impacts of Microaggressions?
Increased levels of stress
Lack of sleep due to imbalance of mental function
Decrease in Confidence
High blood pressure
Higher engagement of unhealthy behaviors (smoking, drinking, etc)
Diminishing a person’s sense of belonging at an organization leads to a decline of productivity because of the lack of inclusion. It is a company’s responsibility to understand microaggressions, educate their staff, and hold their team accountable on inclusive language and practices.
Don’t feel comfortable creating an inclusive space? Contact us at www.coreachconf.com