Microaggressions at School: Negative Consequences for Psychological Safety

24 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2018

See all articles by Ashley Robinson

Ashley Robinson

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, Spears School of Business, Department of Management, Students

Lyangela Gutierrez

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, Students

Lana Scroggins

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, Spears School of Business, Department of Management, Students

Alexis Smith

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Jennifer Whitson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Date Written: May 25, 2018

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Ashley and Gutierrez, Lyangela and Scroggins, Lana and Smith, Alexis and Whitson, Jennifer, Microaggressions at School: Negative Consequences for Psychological Safety (May 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3185119 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3185119

Ashley Robinson (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, Spears School of Business, Department of Management, Students ( email )

394 Business Building
Stillwater, OK
United States

Lyangela Gutierrez

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Anderson School of Management, Students ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Lana Scroggins

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, Spears School of Business, Department of Management, Students ( email )

394 Business Building
Stillwater, OK
United States

Alexis Smith

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

Jennifer Whitson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

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