Stressed Woman

Black Women's Remedial Voice and
Mental Health

This research program examines the prevalence of experienced workplace interpersonal mistreatment against Black women in Canada, and how and why they remedial voice in response to these experiences.

Research indicates that women and racial minorities are more likely to be targeted with acts of workplace interpersonal mistreatment such as workplace bullying, incivility, and generalized workplace abuse, compared to men and Whites. Further, research indicates that Black women are more frequently targets of interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace. Experienced interpersonal mistreatment results in serious negative well-being outcomes for employees. Employees who experience interpersonal mistreatment at work may respond in different ways, including exiting the organization or voicing their experience. When employees vocalize their dissatisfaction about and/or resist interpersonal mistreatment, they engage in a form of “voice” called remedial voice. Employee remedial voice may take the form* of confronting the perpetrator (confronting voice), sharing one’s dissatisfaction about the mistreatment to colleagues (support-seeking voice), or reporting the experience to organizational representatives (e.g., supervisors, human resource professionals, union representatives, and/or organizational mediators) who can facilitate resolution to the situation and effect redress for the targeted employee (whistleblowing voice). Remedial voicing about the stressful and emotional experience of interpersonal mistreatment can lead to positive well-being outcomes for the targeted employee. Furthermore, when employees remedial voice, they can provide their organization the opportunity to address the perceived mistreatment.

 

Our research represents an opportunity to contribute insights in this area by shedding light on the workplace lived experiences of a unique group: Black women in Canada. We hope to explore how factors unique to Black women encourage or discourage their remedial voice decisions, and their choice of type of remedial voice when targeted with interpersonal mistreatment.

 

* Cortina, L.M. & Magley, V.J. (2003). Raising voice, risking retaliation: Events following interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 8, 247–265.