OCAD University Open Research Repository

Microsexism: Macro Impact

Murray, Heather (2020) Microsexism: Macro Impact. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Murray, Heather

This Major Research Project (MRP) was a journey more than a destination. Although there was a distinct outcome, much was revealed through the methodological processes that made the particulars of it possible.

The journey had a two-pronged approach. Firstly, it dove into the essence of women’s experiences of microsexism in the workplace. It studied how subtle bias often unconsciously serves to sideline women’s self esteem, careers, and advancement. Then into the heart of Canada’s legislative, institutional, and organizational inability to close the gender wage gap, and to achieve balanced representation at senior levels and on boards. All of which ladders up to negatively affect a business’s success and the macro economy. A revelation along the way was that male allies are vital to eliminating microsexism in the workplace, that without their belief in its existence and participation to eliminate it, gender equality in the workplace will remain stalled. Most men are willing but may not know how.

Secondly, it was a journey through the Ethnographic Experiential Futures (EXF) method of using ethnographic research to design images of the future as an experience. It was a process of discovering firsthand how ethnographic research data can be analyzed and synthesized to design an experience that resonates with its audience. The outcome is an immersive installation called Kaleidoscope Anima. It uses light, sound, mirrors and colour to shower participants with emotional triggers as they move from the present status quo workplace culture toward a preferred future of gender equality and economic stability. It is followed up by a four-point strategic plan, which outlines easy to implement tactics for individuals to use at work. The suggestion is that after experiencing the powerful emotions from the installation, participants may be left with an intent but no means. The four steps—think, speak, act and invest—guide, rather than scold, male allies to recognize the potential of a gender equal workplace to be a win-win for their own careers, business and personal lives.

Date: December 2020
Additional Information: In this report, experiences of women are highlighted. The use of ‘women’ is intended to mean any person who identifies as a woman, inclusive of cis-woman and trans-women, or Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people.
Uncontrolled Keywords: microsexism, workplace, labour force, gender bias, women, men, career, advancement, promotion, pay gap, performance reviews, economy, macroeconomy, qualitative research, ethnography, phenomenological study, causal layered analysis, three horizons, ethnographic experiential futures, personas, speculative design, critical design
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 04:46
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 21:00
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3160

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