What to do if you experience microaggression, bias and discrimination

Typically, when we think of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, you can see or hear disrespectful, biased words or actions directed toward a person or group. However, what happens more often than not, is subtle forms of discrimination which come in the form of a joke, the use of disrespectful sex based words causing someone to feel uncomfortable over a long period of time. Other forms of microaggressions include; invasion of personal space, sexual innuendos, repeatedly commenting on physical appearance and/or touching someone. Bias and discriminatory actions can come in the form of silencing a co-worker through intimidation based upon power and control, excluding a person for decision making over a period of time and other forms of passive aggressive actions.

If you or someone you know has experienced bias or discrimination, take action and seek support to stop the behavior. In the academic setting, reach out to a Title IX Coordinator for options available to you. In the business setting, seek out a human resources officer, if your concerns are not addressed properly you can always contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and/or Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).