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Hidden Danger: 1 in 3 Employees Experience Microaggressions and Discrimination

According to research, up to a third of employees in the UK experienced microaggression or discrimination from their managers over the past six months. Among the toxic behaviors from managers are negative or discriminatory comments.

Such experiences proved detrimental to the employees’ mental health, with some considering quitting their jobs and feeling they were unable to stay true to themselves at work.

In today’s blog post, we will go over the different microaggressions and discriminatory behavior from managers affecting up to 1 out of three employees in the UK.

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Toxic Work Environment: The Various Acts of Microaggression and Discriminatory Behavior on Employees by their Managers

According to a study conducted by Mental Health First Aid England, based on responses from 2,000 employees, almost one third of employees (31%) faced at least one form of microaggression or discriminatory behavior from their managers over the last six months.

Demographics: The Percentage of Affected Employees

66% of employees aged 18-34 reported experiencing exclusionary acts from their managers in comparison to 38% of employees aged 45-64.

On the other hand, 47% of white British individuals faced discriminatory acts from employers, a case that rose to 57% for Asian and Asian British employees and an alarming 72% for black or black British employees.

Impact of Microaggressions and Discriminatory Behavior on Employees

As a result of microaggressions and discriminatory behavior from managers, almost one out of five respondents admitted that such experience proved detrimental to their mental health, while one out of seven even considered quitting their job.

Additionally, over one out of seven employees felt that the acts of microaggression from their managers prevented them from staying true to their authentic selves at work.

The employees’ inability to stay faithful to their authentic selves at work could be attributed to their managers making derogatory comments on their age, work patterns, personal life, physical and mental health, or mispronouncing and misspelling their names on purpose.

Other exclusionary acts from managers include employees not being given credit for the work they’ve done, sarcasm, or biased managers favoring certain colleagues over others.

For Employees: Coping with Microaggressions and Discrimination

Whether it’s addressing the issue to your managers or self-care, there are ways for employees to cope with microaggressions and discrimination after being affected by derogatory actions from their managers. Below are the key methods for employees to cope with such experiences:

Calmly Address the Derogatory Actions

If your manager is acting in a derogatory manner toward you, it’s crucial to maintain your composure and bring up the matter with your manager as soon as you feel ready to do so.

You can start by thinking about making an appointment with your manager in person during the day so that you can talk to them in private or, if face-to-face communication is not possible, you can also write them a personal text message or email.

You can then use I statements and proceed with “When you said this, I felt hurt…..” or “This upset me because….” and explain. By addressing the issue respectfully to your manager, you can help your manager understand the impact of their microaggression against you in a straightforward way.

Prioritize Self-Care

If you’re experiencing microaggression or discrimination at work, it’s important to prioritize self-care. You can start by reaching out to your colleagues, your friends from outside, family members, or seeking help from a mental health professional to process the experience.

By processing the derogatory experience with friends, family members, or a mental health professional, employees can avoid accumulating negativity and detrimental feelings.

For Managers: Addressing Microaggressions and Discrimination

From establishing clear procedures to educating yourself, managers can play a part in addressing microaggressions and discrimination in the workplace. Below are ways for managers to help address the issue.

Educating Yourself About Workplace Microaggressions and Discriminations

Before you can start addressing the issue of microaggressions and discrimination in the workplace, you first need to understand what microaggressions and their impact are. While subtle, such derogatory behavior can seriously offend employees and affect their ability to work productively.

By properly educating yourself about workplace microaggressions and discrimination as well as their impacts, managers can efficiently address the issue and understand the employees.

Establish a Clear Reporting Procedure

To contribute to addressing the issue of microaggressions, establish a clear procedure in which employees can report such incidents. This will guarantee that employees’ opinions are valued, and that their concerns are addressed with seriousness and confidentiality.


In conclusion, microaggressions and discrimination in workplaces are a true hidden danger for employees. As you can see, based on reported statistics, derogatory behavior such as biased preferences or personal comments can really prove detrimental in the form of demotivation.

By taking measures such as educating yourself about the impact of microaggressions and discrimination as well as establishing a clear procedure for employees to report in the event of such incidents, however, managers can minimize workplace toxicity and contribute to a healthy work-life balance.

Known as a global health insurance broker and employee benefits specialist, Pacific Prime has 20 years of experience matching expats and locals to their health insurance plan of choice as well as offering guidance on employee benefits solutions to ensure employees’ voices are heard.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us.

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Content Writer at Pacific Prime UK
Wish Sutthatothon (Nickname: Guy) is currently a content writer at Pacific Prime Thailand, an insurance broker that connects individuals and businesses with insurance providers worldwide. He creates and edits blog articles, guides, reports, webpages, and other types of digital content.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, Media & Communication major (concentration: Creative Content) from Mahidol University International College (MUIC). During the compulsory major elective period in the summer of 2021 and voluntarily during the summer of 2022, he also interned as a video and photo editor at Mbrella Films.

He has experience working as an English Content Writer at a real estate buying/renting/selling platform in Thonglor. There, he crafted company blog posts on a multitude of topics. Topics include market trends, legal issues and disputes in property businesses, financial guides, expat guides, home insurance, home decoration and maintenance, and weekly real estate news quick-recaps. Occasionally, as part of the blog-writing process, he would also translate existing Thai blogs to English.

In his free time, Guy enjoys doing scriptwriting and storytelling for comic strips, watching movies, and listening to music (particularly film scores).
Wish Sutthatothon