Do you know what a microaggression is? If not, you’re not alone. Microaggressions are forms of insult that happen in California workplaces every day. They may seem harmless on the surface, but they can have lasting consequences for workers who experience them.
What are microaggressions?
Microaggressions are subtle insults that often occur in work environments. They can be in form of words or actions that send negative messages to members of marginalized groups. In some cases, microaggressions happen because the perpetrator does not understand how they are affecting someone else due to their ignorance. In other cases, the perpetrator is aware of how they are hurting someone and chooses to continue.
Microaggressions and discrimination
Microaggressions make up a larger system of discrimination that creates inequality in the workplace. They’re considered everyday discrimination and harassment. Everyday discrimination refers to small acts, such as choosing one applicant over another because they are of a different race, that keep members of marginalized groups from advancing at work.
What are some of the most common examples of microaggression?
There are many different types of microaggressions. Some common examples include telling a woman that she would be prettier if she smiled more often and using slurs or stereotypes when talking about certain groups, such as pregnant women or LGBTQ people. Making jokes based on the stereotype that all members of a certain group are the same is a common example.
Not many people think about microaggressions in the context of discrimination. However, as you can see, they are a form of everyday discrimination that can create a hostile work environment. Knowing about them is the first step to protecting yourself and others from this issue.