Research: The Real-Time Impact of Microaggressions - Deepstash
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The gap between how folks intend to treat people of color and what is actually happening

The gap between how folks intend to treat people of color and what is actually happening

Many organizations have tried to address workplace microaggression but have missed the mark.

For example, black women continue to experience the highest rates of disrespect despite 80% of white men and women identifying as allies to people of colour at work.

To make more progress toward racial equity, leaders need to understand how demeaning remarks affect black employees’ workplace behaviour and emotions in real-time.


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Competency microaggressions

"There's no chance now [for a board seat] for the next 20 years. All they want are women. Edith, you must be in great demand — as a black woman."

This type of comment is known as competency microaggression and is commonly directed at black and female employees. It reveals low expectations of their abilities and beliefs that they're affirmative action hires.

A study found most black professionals are conflict avoidant - they don't want to be associated with negative stereotypes of the "angry black person".


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The cost to teams

The cost to teams

Competency microaggressions can lead to less-effective team interactions.

Healthy deference fosters group cooperation. When one person is seen as a legitimate leader, the others will follow to be seen as reasonable and contribute to collective tasks. However, when race or gender consistently drives who gets shown more deference, teams not only miss out on women's contributions but overlook women for promotions.

Furthermore, when individuals experience a microaggression, they defer less to their team members because of how negatively they feel toward them. This can impact how teams function.


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