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Macro-Inequities and Micro-Inequities “When BIG and Little Things Matter” Speaker: Terance L. Edwards Please sit with new or unfamiliar people
Overview • Examine definitions and explore concepts surrounding macro-inequities, micro-inequities, and micro-affirmations • Provide examples of macro-inequities, micro-inequities, and micro-affirmations • Explore the impact of socialization on macro-inequities, micro-inequities, and micro-affirmations • Explore what we can do to minimize the effects of macro-inequities and micro-inequities in the workplace and at home • Explain your role as an employee in promoting a non-discriminatory workplace.
COURTESY EXPECTATIONS • Interactive Training – We have fun!! • Questions are welcomed • Cell phones off or on vibrate • Use “I” Statements
Introduction • Name • Agency-Organization-Business • A one word adjective that describes your personality
Did You Know? • Most will experience a micro-inequity today and not know it. • Most will experience a macro-inequity at least twice a year. • Most will provide someone today with a micro-inequity. • Most will have a “light bulb” experience before this workshop is over.
Background • In 1973, while researching racial and gender exclusion in the workplace, Mary Rowe, Ph.D. discovered that women and people of color were bothered by subtle, seemingly harmless messages of devaluation that kept them from flourishing. Dr. Rowe coined the terms “Micro-Inequities and Micro-Affirmations”.
What Are Micro-Inequities? • Micro-Inequities refer to the ways in which persons are “either singled out or overlooked, ignored, or otherwise discounted” (Wikipedia). • They are often terms and sayings used to infer and denigrate persons who are being mistreated. • They are covert in nature, sometimes deeply rooted, and unconscious at times.
What Do Micro-Inequities Look Like? • Small messages of prejudice. • Often subconscious. • Subtle in nature. • Verbal or non-verbal. • Change in voice pitch, volume, or rate. • Change in body posture, hand movements, and gestures, i.e., fake or forced smile. • Comments about weight and dress. • Comments about a person’s intellect.
Everyday Micro-Inequities • Excluding someone from a relevant e-mail. • Excluding someone from an important meeting. • Neglecting to include someone in an introduction. • Frequently mispronouncing someone’s name. • Interrupting someone while they’re speaking. • Inattention to the speaker in conversation. • Listening with folded arms.
Eliminating Micro-Inequities • Identify your micro-inequities. • Explore possible sources of your micro-inequities. • Consider the potential negative impact in your workplace. • Address any perceptions of inequities. • Seek feedback on your behavior. • Apply the “Platinum Rule”. • Respect differences and learn about others. • Be clear and respectful in your communications. • Use Micro-Affirmations.
Eliminating Micro-Inequities (cont) • Provide positive and constructive feedback about performance. • Seek clarification. • Avoid taking what is heard at face value. • Seek to understand so as to confirm or discredit information given about groups. • Be inquisitive (learn about others). • Be generous in judgment of others. • Speak up when something offends you. • Praise for work well done in public. • Use Micro-Affirmations.
Learn to Communicate • The most powerful aspect of communication is not verbal communication but nonverbal. According to Diversity Inc., it is estimated that most adults receive and send anywhere between 40 to 150 micro-messages (subtle nonverbal signals) to each other in an average 10 minute conversation. • Take the time to “listen” versus “hearing” what is being said.
Inequalities vs. Inequities • AnInequality implies there is some comparison being made. For example, if your boss provides constructive feedback to your co-workers, that in and of itself may not be an inequality. However, if your boss provides constructive feedback to all your co-workers, but not to you, that might be an inequality. • AnInequityby contrast is something (that maybe perceived to be) unfair or unjust under the circumstances. Thus inequities may occur with only one person on the scene. (However, it is possible and even likely that many inequities support or lead to an unequal environment for people of a given group, but the two concepts are different.)
Micro-Affirmations • Dr. Rowe coined the phrase “Micro-Affirmation,” which • is defined as a subtle message that lets an employee • know they are doing well and are expected to succeed. • Provide clear expectations for performance. • Provide constructive feedback. • Provide opportunities for professional development. • Be the position example. • Be open to other’s ideas, comments, and observations. • Share the power. • Praise for work well done in public.
What Are Macro-Inequities? • Macro-Inequities are often terms and photos used to infer and to denigrate persons who are being mistreated. • The “In Your Face” comments and treatment that are hard to ignore and come from a place of ignorance and prejudice.
Examples of Macro-Inequities • Racial, religious, weight, sexual orientation, gender, age, or disability slurs. • Stereotyping, sexual orientation, disability, etc. • Television programs that deal with controversial issues i.e. South Park or Family Guy. • Pictures and images i.e., a burning cross, a hanging noose, swastika, etc. • Some forms of advertising concerning weight or other social issues. • Postings of offensive materials on social networks. • Picketing at funerals. • Showing up in cultural costuming. • Wearing and/or use of “Black Face”. • Mimicking a person’s accent. • Note: Some forms of macro-inequities are considered protected speech.
Everyday Macro-Inequities • Referring to persons by “them” and “those people.” • The use of the “N” word and profanity in daily conversation. • Showing images of one race in a negative light in media. • Ignoring cultural difference, needs, or sensitivities. • Discounting a person because of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability. • Telling someone to “shut up” etc.
Impact of Macro & Micro-Inequities • Frustration • Failure to accommodate (religion or disability) • Distraction from Agency mission • Decreased morale • Lower self-esteem • Reduced productivity • Lack of motivation • Increased turn-over • Liability • Employees begin to mirror the micro-messages • Broad-brush application of stereotypes • Public humiliation • Fractions in society and work • Hostile work/home environments • (source Drop by Drop)
Eliminating Macro-Inequities • Identify your own biases. • Explore possible sources of your macro-inequities. • Consider the potential negative impact in your workplace, community, and on your personal reputation. • Address any perceptions of inequities, i.e., stereotypes. • Speak up and out on the offensive conduct or behavior. • Apply the “Platinum Rule”. • Respect differences and learn about others. • Be clear and respectful in your communications when voicing your concerns. • Use Micro-Affirmations. • When necessary, confront the responsible source. • (Source: Drop by Drop)
Group Exercise • “Do Tell” • Let’s divide the room into five groups, as equal as possible. While in • your groups, each participant will be asked to share Macro and Micro • Inequities they personally observed or experienced. Let’s limit our • examples to these categories: • Sex • Age • Religion • Sexual orientation • Race • Within your group, share your experiences, then chart a few examples along with how you dealt with it. • We will reconvene and report out by group in 15 minutes.
Inequities vs. Rudeness • Micro-Inequities have a way of boxing a person in or creating a less than cultural or working climate. They are not always conscious behaviors but are damaging. • Rude behavior occurs during a person’s interaction with someone or something (business representatives, movies, television programs, manager, or co-worker). • Macro-Inequities are done with the purpose to inflict harm and demonstrate a dislike for a class of people
Socialization • An all encompassing educational process from which beliefs, values, attitudes, and goals are acquired (Appiah, Pg. 179). • An elaborate process when individuals become distinctive and actively functioning members of the society in which they live. It is the primary method of learning one’s culture.
Socialization Influences • Family • Media • Peers and friends • Teachers and schools • ( Anderson, Pg. 86-89)
M.E.E.T. • Responding to Unprofessional Workplace • and Cultural Behavior • Make time to discuss. • Explore differences. • Encourage respect. • Take responsibility.
Does the Shoe Fit? • “People Pusher”-someone who has the influence to create a negative or positive working environment. This could be a bully or a peace broker. • “People Protector” -someone who stands up for those who are not able, willing, or feel disenfranchised. They are normally well versed in policies and procedures. • “People Pleaser” -someone who is normally the “yes” person. They don’t question authorityand are mostly submissive. • “People Pops” -someone who is just hoping not to be drawn into the fray. They are frozen like popsicles. Typically, they say nothing and remain under the radar.
Don’t get your “Ps” crossed • Personal • Professional • Pain • Pride • Price • What you talking about Terance?
Don’t get your “Ps” crossed • “When you allow your personal issues to affect your professional life there is bound to be pain. When our pride determines our purpose, there is usually a price to pay.” • Terance Edwards
INTENT VS. IMPACT • Never confuse the effect with the cause • Acknowledge the root cause of your bias and filters • Personal behavior could cause harm to your CYA (Career and Your Agency) • Seek feedback regarding your communication style and messaging
Summary • Socialization • Micro-Inequities • Macro-Inequities • Intent vs. Impact • Know your “Ps” • Personality Types • Communication
Reference Materials • Anderson, Margaret L. and Howard F. Taylor, Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. • Appiah, Anthony K. and Amy Gutman, Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race. • Armstrong Lisa, Small Slights Big Programs Micro-Inequities. Working Mothers (February/March 2010) www.workingmother.com. • Drop by Drop, Coastal Productions. • Hinton, Eric L., Micro Inequities: When Small Slights Lead to Huge Problems in the Workplace (May 22, 2003) Diversity, Inc. • Dr. Mary Rowe, Ph.D. • Wikipedia
Presenter Contact Information “Excellence Through Diversity and Service” Terance L. Edwards Senior EEO Program Manager HQ, Eastern Region & Federal Air Marshal Service Operations, Analysis, & Consultative Services Branch Civil Rights Division Office of Civil Rights, Ombudsman & Traveler Engagement Phone: (571) 227-2346 Email: Terance.Edwards@dhs.gov Thank you for coming!