The Corner

Fresh Hell Department

The latest trend: rooting out “microinequities.” Jeff Culbreath:

Thankfully, I retired from corporate America in 2002, and despite my best efforts have not succeeded in returning. Which means that I’m coming late to the party: apparently the “microinequities” trend has been around for a few years, really picking up steam in 2004. Bored, perhaps, with their diversity and sexual harassment workshops, major corporations from Campbell Soup to Wells Fargo have begun to implement “microinequities” training programs.

What are microinequities? Read the Wiki definition here, if you like, which informs us that microinequities can be committed in deceptively innocent-sounding ways, such as the use of sex-specific pronouns, or referring to “black and white thinking”. According to one female professorial blogger:

Micro-inequities are ways in which people are ignored, disrespected, undermined, or somehow treated in a different (negative) way because of their gender or race (or some other intrinsic characteristic).

A micro-inequity can be very micro. It can involve an action or words or even a tone of voice or a gesture. The inequity can be a deliberate attempt to harm someone or it can be unintentional, rooted in a person’s perceptions about others. 

In short, it sounds as if “microinequities” are either anything that might offend the incredibly thin-skinned and low-self-esteemed or something to keep HR people employed.

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