Using an ethnic slur or informing someone they are unqualified for employment because of their ethnicity, gender, age, or handicap are two extreme examples of workplace discrimination. Many employees experience what is referred to as “microaggressions” regularly, especially women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and persons with disabilities. Read on to learn how to tackle this issue, as suggested by Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP in New Jersey.
The phrase recently gained some notoriety on social media after a former Glee cast member, Lea Michele, was criticized for making her time there “a living hell” by using “traumatic microaggressions.” That is not the point, Michele added as she apologized, claiming that her actions had nothing to do with the other actress’ race. What counts is that it is obvious that I behaved in a way that caused harm to others.
People who do not realize they are criticizing someone frequently commit microaggressions. They might even believe they are praising them. An American of Asian descent, a professor who has researched microaggression, says he frequently receives compliments on his command of the English language. He frequently replies, “Thanks; I hope so. I was created here.
Assumptions about people frequently lead to microaggressions. If there is only one woman there, a male might presume she works as a secretary and request that she get a coffee. A heterosexual lady can be told that she does not “look” like a lesbian. They might comment on how independent they seem to a wheelchair-bound coworker. Microaggressions can occasionally be the result of innocent curiosity, such as inquiring about a trans person’s amount of surgery or the future plans of a gay couple for a family.
Naturally, microaggressions also happen outside of the workplace. People should not have to put up with them at work, though.
What Can You Then Do?
Initially, call out the slight. You are not required to do it out of rage. The goal is to make the individual in question conscious of what they are doing and possibly educate them. Some individuals utilize humor. Others may respond, saying, “I know you believed that was praise, but here is why it is hurtful.”
If the behavior persists, note it down. Write down whoever it was, the occasion, the place, the time, and any bystanders. You have the ability to bring up the issue with the HR department to see what the department is able to do about it if it is affecting the way you work (or whatever way you feel about going to work). An organization that tolerates persistent microaggressions might not react at all if discrimination or harassment occurs.