Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Microaggressions in the Workplace

Microaggressions in the Workplace

From Self.Conference 2019 in Detroit, MI

Let’s face it. If you’re a woman, you’ve probably had some pretty crappy stuff said to you at work. But did the person who said it know how crappy it actually was? Microaggressions are small, often seemingly harmless comments that can make people in any kind of minority feel out of place or talked down to.

This presentation is for folks of all genders, races, sexual orientations, and ages who want to be a little more conscious about the way they treat one another. You’ll leave with plenty of examples of how to recognize microaggressions and how to deal, whether you’re the recipient, the supplier, or the passer-by.

82f2b97ede6aade9f086ff1ceaa424d7?s=128

Megan Boczar

June 07, 2019
Tweet

Transcript

  1. @meganboczar Microaggressions in the Workplace Megan Boczar Software Engineer Self.Conference

    - June 7, 2019 Detroit, MI
  2. @meganboczar My name is Megan Boczar This is my face

    This is where I work This is my non-profit
  3. @meganboczar Thank you to the sponsors!

  4. @meganboczar Content Warning • Sexism • Racism • Transphobia •

    Homophobia • Ageism • Ableism • Sexual harassment/assault If this makes you go like…. My friend Sarah is down the hall talking about her Raspberry Pi pancreas
  5. @meganboczar DISCLAIMER I am a cis-gender, upper-middle class, bisexual, recently

    divorced, young, white woman with chronic health problems. These are my experiences until I say otherwise. I am not and will not try to interpret the problems of others in marginalized populations that I know nothing about; I am only stating quotes or paraphrasing things that my colleagues have told me and given me permission to anonymously use in this presentation.
  6. @meganboczar Questions always encouraged However, this is sensitive content, so

    please wait until the designated times.
  7. @meganboczar Questions?

  8. @meganboczar What is a Microaggression?

  9. @meganboczar Types of Microaggressions • Gender • Race/Ethnicity • LGBTQIA+

    • Age • People with disabilities/health issues • Socioeconomic status...
  10. @meganboczar

  11. @meganboczar https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf19304/data

  12. @meganboczar Vocab PRIVILEGE is about access. UNDERREPRESENTATION is about numbers.

    MARGINALIZATION is about treatment. DIVERSITY is about variety. INCLUSION is about experience. KIM CRAYTON - https://qz.com/work/1328942/what-is-diversity-a-practical-definition/
  13. @meganboczar Questions?

  14. @meganboczar Gender

  15. @meganboczar Vocab • Gender: Either of the two sexes (male

    and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.
  16. @meganboczar Vocab • Cisgender (cis): Denoting or relating to a

    person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex. • Transgender (trans): Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. • Nonbinary (enby): Denoting or relating to a gender that is not defined in terms of traditional binary oppositions such as male and female.
  17. @meganboczar Using gender specific language • Using he/him pronouns when

    creating user stories for a stock trading app • Using she/her pronouns when referring to babies/young children in a developmental psychology class
  18. @meganboczar Sexist office duties • Party planning • Making coffee

    • Taking notes • Cleaning
  19. @meganboczar Kids/marriage • “What are your plans long term? Will

    you stay home with the kids when you start a family?” • “Your husband let you come out on the work night?” • “I didn’t know you had a son! I thought you’d be out of the office more if you did.” (after seeing a picture of my nephew on my phone)
  20. @meganboczar Comments about appearance • “You have such a pretty

    face, but you look intimidating in meetings. It would be great if you could smile more.” • “Can you wear your hair down for this meeting? It makes you look older and we need to be taken seriously.” • “Wow, you actually look like a girl today!”
  21. @meganboczar Tone Policing • “You’re just overreacting.” • “You sound

    naggy. Can you watch your tone?” • “Please try to control yourself next time. I know you feel strongly but you sounded angry.” • “Don’t be such a grammar Nazi.”
  22. @meganboczar Assuming you’re not a manager/expert • “Can I speak

    to the manager. No, the REAL manager.” • “Are you sure you know how to do this?” • “I know, but let me just show you to make sure you understand.” • In an interview a candidate only spoke to my male colleagues, never making eye contact with me.
  23. @meganboczar “Mansplaining” • “It’s actually interesting how loan rates are

    calculated, you see…” • “I think what Megan is saying…” • “Well, here, let me show you.”
  24. @meganboczar Pet Names • Honey • Sweetie • Sweetheart •

    Sugar • Darling • Kiddo • Baby • Boo • Dear • Sweetcheeks
  25. @meganboczar And the not-so-micro • “Is it that time of

    the month?” • “If you weren’t young enough to be my daughter, I’d definitely ask you on a date.” • “Are you sure you’re only 22? You seem much more experienced than that. You must have been ordering men around for years.”
  26. @meganboczar EW

  27. @meganboczar Age

  28. @meganboczar Age • “Oh, you’re only 25? You seem so

    much older than that! You’re a baby!” • “Is there someone more senior I can talk to?” • “Hey, you’re the computer kid, right? Can you fix my printer?”
  29. @meganboczar Sexual Orientation

  30. @meganboczar Vocab • Sexual Orientation: A person's sexual identity in

    relation to the gender to which they are attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or somewhere along a spectrum. • Bisexual: Sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender; attracted to both men and women.
  31. @meganboczar Sexual Orientation • “Oh? You’re bi? I wouldn’t have

    expected that from someone as serious as you.” • “How can you be bi? I thought you were married to a man. So like, it doesn’t really matter cuz you live like you’re straight.”
  32. @meganboczar Health Issues

  33. @meganboczar Health Issues • “You have a lot of appointments.

    We’re going to need to talk about this.” • “You don’t look sick though.”
  34. @meganboczar Are you uncomfortable?

  35. @meganboczar What if I told you I had to quit

    a job because I didn’t feel safe?
  36. @meganboczar Questions?

  37. @meganboczar Now let’s hear from some of my colleagues...

  38. @meganboczar Race

  39. @meganboczar Vocab • Race: Each of the major divisions of

    humankind, having distinct physical characteristics. • Ethnicity: The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.
  40. @meganboczar Race • “What are you again?” or “Where are

    you from?” • “Your fiance’s white? Your kids are gonna look so cool.” • “I hope my kids find someone exotic too.” • “______ is my spirit animal.” • “Hey, you’re tiny, can you walk on my back?”
  41. @meganboczar Race (specifically black) • Walking into a building with

    5 other people and being the only person asked for ID. • “I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with your hair.” • “You’re very eloquent.”
  42. @meganboczar Gender

  43. @meganboczar Vocab • Gender: Either of the two sexes (male

    and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.
  44. @meganboczar Vocab • Cisgender (cis): Denoting or relating to a

    person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex. • Transgender (trans): Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. • Nonbinary: Denoting or relating to a gender that is not defined in terms of traditional binary oppositions such as male and female.
  45. @meganboczar Trans/Non-Binary • Constant misgendering of trans/non-binary co-workers • Overly-aggressive

    apologies • “But what’s your real name?” • “Have you gotten your surgery yet?”
  46. @meganboczar Other stuff…. • “You have it easy. I remember

    when I was your age.” • “Oh he/she probably didn't mean anything by it.” or “He/she meant well when they said that to you.” • “So that's how many person-hours of work?” “It'll be 10 man-hours.” • “Oh, you’re a dev?”
  47. @meganboczar

  48. @meganboczar Questions? Ask whenever from now on!

  49. @meganboczar How does this actually impact people?

  50. @meganboczar Spoon Theory Everyone has a certain number of spoons

    per day, say 50. For me, as a person with depression, it takes me 10 spoons just to get out of bed, brush my teeth, and feed my cat. For you, that only takes one spoon.
  51. @meganboczar Emotional Responsibility If you’re in a place of privilege,

    do not offload the emotional responsibility onto the minority party.
  52. @meganboczar Shut that s!@* down Yeah, Liz. It does.

  53. @meganboczar If you’re being marginalized... • Find your allies! •

    If you have the emotional energy, educate your coworkers • Don’t be shy, address your concerns • Speak with your manager (or maybe HR) if it’s less-than-micro ◦ A word of warning, though. Know your company and whether HR is there for you or your company. I’ve been burned by this before.
  54. @meganboczar If you’re an observer... • Be an ally •

    Approach the person one on one first • Call out bad behavior when you see it • Amplify the voices of others and then take a back seat • Get involved!
  55. @meganboczar If you need to be better... (Spoiler alert: This

    is all of us.) • Educate yourself! • Apologize • Feel embarrassed; it will help you do better • Realize this is a learning experience
  56. @meganboczar If you need to be better... (Spoiler alert: This

    is all of us.) • Don’t force your help on to somebody who doesn’t want it • Approach people privately • It’s easier to discount microaggressions if you’re coming from a position of power
  57. @meganboczar

  58. @meganboczar @meganboczar Thanks!