To mark My Whole Self Day, we have released new research.  It reveals that almost 1 in 3 employees (31%) have experienced at least one form of microaggression or discriminatory behaviour from their manager in the past six months.  
My Whole Self is the campaign for workplace culture change, led by MHFA England. We are calling on employers to create cultures where people feel safe to bring their whole self to work, to drive improvements in mental health and performance. This research shows there’s a long way to go. 
The findings, among 2,000 employees, show the most common negative comments or assumptions managers have made, in the past six months, relate to people’s age, working patterns, personal life, and physical or mental health. Misspelling or mispronouncing people’s names also make the top five. 
More broadly, the most cited exclusionary behaviours employees experience from management includes ‘not getting credit for work done, ‘favouritism of other employees’, and ‘sarcasm’. Overall, almost half of employees (48%) have experienced one or more forms of discriminatory or exclusionary acts from their manager in the past six months.  
There are noticeable differences among people’s experiences. Across working ages, while two thirds (66%) of those aged 18-34 state they’ve experienced these behaviours from managers, only 38% of those aged 45-64 say that’s the case. Alongside this, whilst half (47%) of White British employees saw this type of action from managers, this rises to 57% of Asian or Asian British workers, and 72% of Black or Black British employees. 
The impact on employees is stark. Almost 1 in 5 people said these experiences had a negative outcome on their mental health and 1 in 7 employees has considered quitting their job as a result. 
Over 1 in 7 employees also said these microaggressions left them feeling that they couldn’t be their whole self at work. We want employers to act by creating environments where everyone is able to bring their whole self to work. That includes background, sexuality, religion, gender, health and mental health. My Whole Self aims to create workplace cultures where people have the safety and freedom to choose which parts of their identity they share at work, without fear of judgement.  
The campaign is vital as 33% of employees said their company does not promote equality and inclusion, they were unsure of any such initiative at their workplace, or their organisation had no way of doing so.  
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Our chief executive, Simon Blake, said: 

“Everyone deserves to feel seen and valued at work. Equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging are key to positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.  
“As employers, if we create cultures where people can bring their whole self to work, without fear of judgement, all the evidence shows we will see strong performance and excellent productivity. This isn’t simply a nice to have, it is a business imperative. Diverse teams mean innovation and excellence and according to Forbes deliver 60% better results.  
“When people belong and their contribution is valued, they deliver.” 

Dr Melissa Carr, Director of the World of Work Institute (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion), Henley Business School said: 

“A sense of belonging is critical for supporting equity, diversity and inclusion within the workplace – and a big part of feeling you belong is feeling known, respected and valued. Microaggressions and discrimination can considerably undermine people’s sense of psychological safety and wellbeing at work, and it’s concerning to see how common these instances are in the UK.  

“This research is a timely reminder of the vital role line managers and colleagues play in building supportive work environments that allow people to bring their whole self to work. Employers have progress to make to translate equity, diversity and inclusion policy into meaningful practice throughout the workplace, creating environments where microaggressions and discrimination is recognised and called out.” 

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