Confronting sexism at the workplace

Confronting prejudice may be ‘antidote’ for workplace distress:

Women who publicly confront instances of sexism in the workplace tend to feel more capable and competent in their jobs and about themselves in general, a new study shows.

The research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln examined how both men and women perceive, react to and relate to everyday episodes of workplace prejudice, and found that women who challenge sexist behavior experience psychological benefits such as self-esteem, empowerment and competence.[…]

Unlike women who confronted the sexist remark, calling out the employee’s sexist behavior had little relationship to men’s general feelings of competence, self-esteem or empowerment at work. That suggests, Gervais said, that confronting workplace prejudice may be particularly important for those who are the traditional victims of the behavior – in this case, women.

What does come to mind (at least for me), is that while the confrontation might be empowering, it is not always realistic. First of all, it might cost someone their job. Second, not everyone is emotionally equipped to deal with the possible retaliation. 

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