Scenario 1

Microaggressions - Scenario 1

- Maria has just come back from maternity leave. Mark invites her to a meeting at 5pm to go over what she’s missed. Mark is a new manager and hasn’t met Maria before.  

- When she comes in, he immediately says, “Oh, you’re not what I expected at all – you’re surely far too young to be a mother.” As Maria frowns, he continues, “Oh, just joking!’’

- They engage in small talk for a while, and Mark says, “Your English is really good – where did you learn it?”  Maria replies that her parents taught her, to which Mark responds, “They must be really good teachers – where are you from originally?”

- When they eventually talk about work, Mark says, ”Well, as a new mother, we must make sure we don’t overstress you – I’ll just give you the small clients to look after for now.”

- Eventually, Maria says she has to go home and leaves to make a decision about whether to change job or not.

1. Where can you spot microaggressions?

2. Look for why something Mark said is wrong, as well as what.

3. What could Mark have done differently?