The way we speak can cause unintended and unwanted consequences. In sociolinguistics, Genderlect is a speech variety or communication style usually associated with a particular sex. For more info about Genderlects, see below.
Sexist microaggressions could be anything from dismiissive behavior due to gender, addressing a person by a sexist name, displaying nude pin-ups of men or women at places of employment, or someone making unwanted sexual advances toward another person. For more info about Gender-related Microaggressions, see below.
The intersection of Gender and Race in the workplace can result in conflict. For more info on Gender-Race Interactions, see below.
Although women have made numerous gains in the workforce, barriers still exist.
This topic discusses the set of roles, attitudes, and behaviors that societies define as appropriate for women and men. These are usually the cause, result and system of power relations, from within the household to the highest levels of politics. For more info on Gender Power Dynamics, see below.
The gender system is deeply entwined with social hierarchy and leadership because gender stereotypes contain status beliefs that associate greater status worthiness and competence with men than women. For more info on Gender Status, see below.
The intersection of Gender and Culture can sometimes cause workplace conflict Gender-role beliefs refer to the general perception of gender roles such as gender-related tasks and power distribution. Research has found that certain societies strive for maximal distinction between how men and women are expected to behave. For more info on Gender Cultural Dynamics, see below.
What: The term Genderlect was coined by Deborah Tannen in her book “You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation”. In sociolinguistics, Genderlect is a speech variety or communication style usually associated with a particular sex. It is a kind of dialect. Theorists state that in everyday face-to-face interaction, compared to men, women tend to be more relational than task oriented. The genders express different values in conversational language. Men engage in ‘status and independence’. Women engage in ‘connection and intimacy’. Some theorists believe that women's use of language tends to involve more “verbal ‘fillers’, hedges, qualifiers, and politeness markers; being less definitive (‘perhaps…’); using more justifiers (‘because…’); asking more questions; agreeing more with conversational partners; not interrupting and not monopolizing topic choice.” (Lakoff, 1942)
Why: These speech styles are shaped by various factors:
A. Culture: They can be a result of differences in male and female social roles. In some societies, women speak more in private interactions than in public ones. They may shun conflict or seek empathy when recounting stories to groups.
B. Power: They can relate to power in academic, professional, or social environments.
The Fix: We work with DEI professionals to create environments that lend to a more balanced, respectful, and productive exchange of ideas. Contact us
Sexist microaggressions are "[addressing someone by using] a sexist name, a man refusing to wash dishes because it is 'women's work,' displaying nude pin-ups of men or women at places of employment, someone making unwanted sexual advances toward another person".
Regarding gender, there are three types of Microaggressions:
1. Sexual Objectification (i.e., when a person is treated as a sexual object). For instance, when a woman is catcalled on the street or a man attempts to look at a woman’s breasts, he is communicating that women’s bodies are allowed to be sexualized.
2. Assumptions of Traditional Gender Roles (i.e., when an individual assumes that a woman needs to uphold traditional gender roles). For example, many women are told that they need to have a husband in order to be happy.
3. Assumptions of Inferiority (i.e., when a woman is assumed to be physically or intellectually incompetent, particularly in comparison to men). One illustration is when a woman is carrying a box and a man takes it away from her (without her permission), assuming she isn’t physically strong.
A person makes assumptions based on individual experience or stereotypical conditioning.
We work with DEI professionals to create awareness of microaggressions and develop strategies to combat them. Contact us
Studies found that gender differences in racial attitudes are small, inconsistent, and limited mostly to attitudes on racial policy. Data indicates that the racial attitudes of the dominant culture are rooted in their shared sense of group position, and that their gender plays only a small role in racial attitude formation.
Why: Racial attitudes emerge from structural relationships between groups and those prejudices are intrinsically linked to that “sense of group position.” Men and women in the same racial group sometimes occupy the same hierarchical position in society, thus many of their racial attitudes are similar although expressed differently.
We work with DEI professionals to address the unique challenges related to the intersection of race and gender within the workplace. Contact us
The set of roles, attitudes, and behaviors that societies define as appropriate for women and men are usually the cause, result and system of power relations, from within the household to the highest levels of politics. It can also mean the way in which men and women are treated or behave differently in society, either with their own gender or with each other. The gender dynamics and roles in society for an individual or group can be changed by either economic standing, age and other factors. Depending on how they are manifested, gender power dynamics can reinforce or challenge existing mores.
Why: These gender power dynamics are informed by sociocultural ideas about gender and the power relationships that define them.
The Fix: We work with DEI professionals to identify and address gender-power dynamics that may be negatively impacting the organizational bottom line. Contact us
More than a trait of individuals, gender is an institutionalized system of social practices. The gender system is deeply entwined with social hierarchy and leadership because gender stereotypes contain status beliefs that associate greater status worthiness and competence with men than women. In mixed‐sex or gender‐relevant contexts, gender status beliefs shape men's and women's assertiveness, the attention and evaluation their performances receive, ability attributed to them on the basis of performance, the influence they achieve, and the likelihood that they emerge as leaders. Gender status beliefs also create legitimacy reactions that penalize assertive women leaders for violating the expected status order and reduce their ability to gain compliance with directives.
Why: Status impacts gender roles for the following reasons:
1. Gender biases
2. Fewer educations opportunities for women
3. Fewer professional opportunities for women even with an education
4. Lesser earning potential for women
We work with DEI professionals to identify and address issues of gender status that negatively impact workplace culture. Contact us
Gender-role beliefs refer to the general perception of gender roles such as gender-related tasks and power distribution. Research has found that certain societies strive for maximal distinction between how men and women are expected to behave. These societies expect men to be competitive and to strive for material success and expect women to serve and care for non-material quality of life and for children. In certain societies, belief in inequality of the sexes dominates, social roles of sexes are different, and the mother has a weaker position in the family. In more feminine countries, social roles of the sexes show more overlap, the belief in equality of the sexes is more prevalent, there is less occupational and educational segregation, and the mother has a stronger position in the family.
The social-role approach, the predominant approach to understanding gender-role beliefs, attributes the sources of these beliefs to the different social roles performed by men and women.
We work with DEI professionals to identify and address gender/cultural prejudice within the workplace. Contact us
A Guide to Responding to Microaggressions – Kevin L. Nadal
You Just Don’t Understand – Deborah Tannen
Racial Differences in Men’s Attitudes About Women’s Gender Roles – Bree & Tickamyer
Gender Differences in White’s Racial Attitudes: Are Women’s Attitudes Really More Favorable? – Hughes & Touch
European Institute for Gender Equality
Power Dynamics: The Hidden Element to Effective Meetings – Interaction Institute for Social Change
Gender, Status, and Leadership - Cecilia L. Ridgeway
Gender, social class, and women’s employment - Kathleen L McGinn and Eunsil Oh
Jilana Jaxon, Ryan F. Lei, Reut Shachnai, Eleanor K. Chestnut, Andrei Cimpian. The Acquisition of Gender Stereotypes about Intellectual Ability: Intersections with Race. Journal of Social Issues, 2019
Cultural Discourse Analysis - Sunny Lie
Guilherme and Dietz 2015; Shi-xu 2009, 2015