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Date posted: 01st July 2024

01st July 2024

Microinclusions Enhance Women’s Sense of Belonging and Commitment in the Workplace

Microinclusions Enhance Women’s Sense of Belonging and Commitment in the Workplace

Research from the University of Washington reveals that “microinclusions,” or brief positive interactions, especially from dominant group members, significantly enhance women’s sense of belonging and commitment in technology companies. These microinclusive behaviors help women feel valued and reduce fears of being stereotyped, fostering a supportive workplace environment.

Read the original article written by University of Washington and published in Psych.org.

New research from the University of Washington, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, demonstrates how “microinclusions”—brief instances of positive treatment, particularly from members of the dominant group—help women feel appreciated at work.

Think about your first day at a new job. You likely feel anxious, wondering how you’ll integrate with the team. It’s common to worry about whether your co-workers will be supportive or take your contributions seriously.

This feeling is intensified for women in technology companies, who frequently encounter underrepresentation and negative stereotypes about their abilities. Researchers discovered that microinclusive behaviors enhanced the sense of belonging for both men and women at a technology company.

However, microinclusions were especially beneficial for women, whose contributions are often undervalued in the tech industry. The study also revealed that microinclusions increased women’s commitment to their company and alleviated their concerns about being judged based on negative stereotypes.

UW News spoke with lead author Gregg Muragishi, a UW postdoctoral scholar in psychology, to delve deeper into this research.

What are microinclusions?

Muragishi: Microinclusions involve showing people that you regard them positively. In the workplace, new employees might question their sense of belonging, asking, “Can I be successful here? Is this a place where I can contribute?” Microinclusions are interpersonal actions from others that help employees answer these questions affirmatively, making them feel that they belong.

What are some examples you might see in the workplace?

One example could be something brief like someone saying, “Building on what Jane said…” or “I would like to hear what Jane thinks,” showing that Jane’s expertise is valued.

Another example of a microinclusion is constructive feedback. Constructive feedback allows a manager or peer to engage with your idea, helping you develop it by providing support or resources. It is crucial for the feedback to be constructive and not merely critical.

Read the original article: Microinclusions improve women’s workplace belonging and commitment


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