Gender Inequality

What is a microaggression? 14 things people think are fine to say -  but are actually racist, sexist, or offensive

Microagression, sexism, racism.

Microaggressions are often unintentional expressions of racism, sexism, ageism, or ableism. Image: Unsplash/Christina @

Marguerite Ward
Senior Strategy Reporter, Business Insider
Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Gender Inequality is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Gender Inequality

Have you read?
Prejudice in the workplace.
Commenting on a black person's language or speaking habits has a complicated history. Image: El Nariz/Shutterstock
Prejudice in the workplace.
Telling a transgender person that they don't Image: Lynne Sladky/AP
Prejudice in the workplace.
Learn your coworkers' names. It's a pretty basic concept. Image: MR. Nattanon Kanchak/Shutterstock
Prejudice in the workplace.
If your coworker of any sexual orientation wants your help meeting new people, they'll ask you. Image: Renat Latyshev/Strelka Institute/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
Calling your female boss Image: Mikhail Goldenkov/Strelka Institute/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
If the person in question wants to discuss their identity, they can bring it up at their own discretion. Image: Girl Geek Academy/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
You shouldn't be shocked when your coworker with a disability is able to accomplish just as much as their able-bodied peers. Image: Matt Rourke/AP
Prejudice in the workplace.
If you can't pronounce a colleague's name, just ask them how to say it. Don't point out that it's foreign or unfamiliar to you. Image: Girl Geek Academy/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
Don't assume people don't belong or make them feel as if they're outsiders. Image: Sebastian ter Burg/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
Age discrimination is a serious problem in many workplaces. Image: Evgeny Belikov/Strelka/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
There's no reason to comment on a coworker's appearance. Image: Mikhail Goldenkov/Strelka Institute/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
A person's natural hair, regardless of their ethnicity, should be accepted as professional and workplace-friendly. Image: WOCinTech Chat/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
Men are nearly three times as likely to interrupt a woman than another man. Image: Strelka/Flickr
Prejudice in the workplace.
If you're curious about why religious people choose to wear certain articles of clothing, read articles or books by those who do it. Image: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Gender InequalitySystemic Racism
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Gender equality: a call to action beyond the G20 New Delhi Summit

Ratna Sahay and Kehinde Ajayi

September 21, 2023

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum