DEI Convo: Microaggressions Guest Speaker
Lawline’s Minority Employee Resource Group (MERG) held a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lunch & learn that featured a special guest speaker on microaggressions. In this program, Ph.D. candidate Denise Wilder presented the history behind microaggressions, the negative impacts they can have on mental health, and how to navigate through a microaggression conversation. She brought a personal touch to the discussion by sharing her own experiences of microaggressions in the workplace and throughout her higher education career.
The MERG leadership team decided to focus on Microaggressions as the first topic in our speakers series because they occur more than most of us realize even though the person doing them rarely means to cause harm. However, as we know, words have a long-lasting impact and getting educated is the first step to combating microaggressions. If you are unfamiliar with microaggressions or why they are so problematic, I highly encourage you to check out the video, How microaggressions are like mosquito bites • Same Difference
When conducting an event that creates mindful awareness and powerful discussions, it’s important that we receive prospective feedback from those that attended. Overall employees thought the training was informative and through this training discovered they have encountered a microaggression. After this training, an employee came forward saying they have experienced multiple microaggressions over their gender in prior roles and now feels knowledgeable and confident to address them head on. Other employees shared as well;
“I found the presentation very informative because it made me self-aware of my own actions. I also learned of micro-aggressions towards me that I was never aware of (outside of work).” - Alberto Mayanga (Web Developer)
”I felt the microaggression lunch & learn was insightful and important. Denise did an excellent job managing the conversation and promoting engagement. I’ll also add that there was a great amount of diversity in the stories and examples shared which I really valued.” - Dan Anslow-O’Rourke (Senior Video Producer)
”I really enjoyed the presentation MERG hosted on microaggressions, and I’m thankful to work for a company that prioritizes discussions around DEI. Our host, Denise, was very knowledgeable about the topic and I learned about a new term, Subtle Acts of Aggression (SAE), which I will now use instead of microaggressions. I also appreciated the vulnerability of all who attended in sharing their experiences with SAEs. Overall, I very much enjoyed learning from this presentation. “ - Katie Carelli (Content Operations Manager)
Lawline is a company who offers their employees continuous improvement opportunities and we facilitate vulnerable conversations around diversity equity and inclusion topics. We encourage our employees to participate in these conversations because diversity, equity and inclusion is an essential part of our company culture.