Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.
Learn how to update your browser.

Prof. Leslie Culver Featured in CNBC Piece on Microaggressions in the Workplace

Man and woman in business setting

An employee's unhappiness at work is dictated by many factors—bad management, for example, or grueling hours. There exist, however, less easily identifiable events that can contribute significantly to disengagement in the workplace.

These acts are often referred to as “microaggressions,” the everyday slights, indignities, put-downs, and insults that minorities experience in their day-to-day interactions with well-intentioned individuals who are unaware that their actions could be deemed offensive. Though often subtle, the impact of such incidents can have a sizable effect on employees' performance and confidence.

In a recent article on, California Western School of Law Professor Leslie Culver provides real-world examples of microaggressions and suggests ways to address these situations on the job.

On the issue of "mansplaining," Culver recommends gathering a group of colleagues for support in calling out the microaggressor.

"Have a conversation before bringing it up and say something like, 'Hey, I want to address [him] speaking over me. Can you help me to open the door to that discussion?'," says Culver. "That way, you all are working together to continue to point [the guy] out."

Culver asserts that it's always best to weigh the pros and cons of addressing a microaggressor directly. If the person is someone in a position of power, then you may want to think about the impact they can have on your career before engaging in a one-on-one conversation. In this case, Culver suggests finding a leader who may be able to kindly correct the person on your behalf.

"You need to get an informed, intelligent, and well-meaning leader who isn't afraid to say 'Let me speak up against this,'" says Culver.

She adds that you should also do some personal research on implicit bias and gender and racial stereotyping in order to identify these tiny, yet harmful acts. "People need to get better educated on what it looks like," Culver says, "so they can be empowered to understand."

Culver is one of six California Western professors to envision and coordinate the law school's inaugural Gender Sidelining Symposium, which takes an innovative look at how existing social structures can lead to adverse treatment on the basis of gender when actions may not be motivated by gender-based animus or even implicit bias.

To read the complete article, visit: