top of page
Post: Blog2 Post

How Workplace Discrimination Can Undermine Our Sense of Self

Even subtle discrimination at work can impact us and lead to consequences.

By Karoline Strauss, Professor of Management at ESSEC Business School, and Julia Smith, Editor-in-Chief of ESSEC Knowledge

Diversity and inclusion are global priorities, and there’s evidence that authenticity at work can impact well-being. This points to the importance of a workplace where employees feel welcome and comfortable being themselves. To make this happen, we need to have a better grasp of what happens when “who we are” is called into question. Researchers call this experience “identity threat”. Identity threat can result from discrimination at work or within other types of organizational culture, and it can lead to burnout and turnover. Using their newly-developed scale in an article published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Karoline Strauss, Professor of Management at ESSEC, Maïlys George (former Ph.D. candidate at ESSEC, and now Assistant Professor at EDHEC Business School), Julija Mell (Rotterdam School of Management) and Heather C. Vough (George Mason University) studied how people react to identity threat and pinpoint the triggers and outcomes of these threats.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page