Microaggressions at School: Negative Consequences for Psychological Safety
24 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 25, 2018
Though women have increasingly reached parity with men in terms of degrees earned, they remain under-represented in many fields of employment (e.g., STEM) and in the upper levels of management. Diversity training programs are now common in most organizations, yet even if the more overt forms of discrimination have been reduced or eliminated (itself an open question), members of stereotyped groups may still suffer subtler forms of identity undermining. We argue that microaggressions, a form of subtler discrimination, produce identity threat responses. Our study demonstrates that gender microaggressions decrease psychological safety, which is related to reduced engagement and increased turnover intentions. Overall, we find evidence that gender microaggressions have detrimental effects on women’s individual relationships with their organizations, and that psychological safety is a crucial factor. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Keywords: Gender, Identity, Stereotyping
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