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What are microaggressions?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Employment Law |

Employers have an obligation to maintain a supportive workplace. This entails addressing discrimination issues directly, which can help avoid the creation of a hostile work environment.

While some instances of racism and sexism in the workplace are blatant, others fly under the radar. These are microaggressions, and they make employees as uncomfortable as blatant discrimination. The following are a few common microaggressions and why they can cause so much harm at work.

Not letting female co-workers speak

It is important for all employees to have their voices heard, regardless of gender. That is why male workers should not interrupt female workers during meetings. Not only can it make for a less supportive environment, but it can also result in the female co-worker not receiving her due when it comes to ideas. In this case, decorum stipulates that no person should speak until the other has had time to complete their statement.

Questioning a person’s appearance

Things like hairstyles and head wraps are not just personal style choices, they can also be culturally important. Accordingly, asking pointed questions about them is often problematic, especially when the subject of such questions is a person of color. Additionally, employees should never judge another co-worker’s appearance as unprofessional if they choose to do a natural hairdo.

Assuming older workers are tech illiterate

Ageism is another major issue in workplaces, and one aspect of this is automatically assuming that an older employee is not aware of the latest technology. Unfortunately, these misguided beliefs can directly impact an older worker’s ability to achieve at a company, as they may create an air of incompetence that is not warranted.

Microaggressions might not seem like a major issue, but they can contribute to a hostile workplace. That is why employers must address issues as soon as possible.