I. Promoting Equity in OrganizationsThis section includes recent articles (in reverse chronological order) on a range of topics: harassment; bystanders; micro-inequities, micro-aggressions, and micro-affirmations; and mentoring.
- “'Drafting a Letter' for People Dealing with Harassment or Bullying How Did this Option Evolve? How May it Help?" Rowe, Mary. Submitted to JIOA for publication. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, February 2023.
- “An Unusual Harassment Training That Inspired Bystanders.” Rowe, Mary. MIT Sloan Working Paper 6478-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2021. Submitted for publication to JIOA 2023. (Note: This essay illustrates the importance of training managers and faculty about complaint-handling and about being effective bystanders.)
- “If You Have Been Harassed or Bullied: Some Ideas to Consider." Rowe, Mary. MIT Sloan Working Paper 5388-18. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2021.
- “Concerns about Bullying at Work As Heard by Organizational Ombudsmen” (PDF). Cummings, Lydia, and Mary Rowe. Labor and Employment Relation Association’s Perspectives on Work, Summer 2010/Winter 2011, 15-18.
- “Dealing with—or Reporting—‘Unacceptable’ Behavior” (PDF). Rowe, Mary, Linda Wilcox, and Howard Gadlin. Journal of the International Ombudsman Association Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter 2009). (Note: This article includes a discussion of the myriad reasons why people hesitate to act.)
In the articles below, the term “bystander” is used for people who observe or come to know about the behavior of others (whether unacceptable or exemplary behavior), but who are not knowingly engaged in planning or executing that behavior.
Many bystanders hesitate to act—for many different reasons discussed in these articles. Some reasons are helpful and responsible, but many bystanders need and want safe, accessible, and credible support before they can and will act.
- “Consider Generic Options When Complainants and Bystanders Are Fearful.” Rowe, Mary. Journal of the International Ombudsman Association Vol. 16, Issue 3.
- “Helping Hesitant Bystanders Identify Their Options: A Checklist with Examples and Ideas to Consider.” Rowe, Mary. Journal of the International Ombudsman Association, Vol. 16, Issue 3.
- “Mistreatment Experiences, Protective Workplace Systems, and Occupational Distress in Physicians,” Rowe, Susannah G., Miriam T. Stewart, Sam Van Horne, Cassandra Pierre, Hanhan Wang, Makaila Manukyan, Megan Bair-Merritt, Aviva Lee-Parritz, Mary P. Rowe, Tait Shanafelt, and Mickey Trockel. JAMA Network Open 2022: 5(5)e2210768. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.10768. (Note: This article is the first to provide quantitative data finding that the perception that bystanders intervene when someone is mistreated is associated with better occupational well-being.)
- “Bystanders: ‘See Something, Say Something’ Is Not Enough.” Rowe, Mary P. Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation Vol. 39, No. 10 (November 2021): 153-165. (Note: This article is an expansion of “Supporting Bystanders: See Something, Say Something is Not Enough.” Rowe, Mary. MIT Sloan Working Paper 5897-20. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, January 2020. The article discusses the need for a zero-barrier office in a conflict management system to make it less risky for bystanders to offer information in serious cases.)
- “An Unusual Harassment Training That Inspired Bystanders.” Rowe, Mary. MIT Sloan Working Paper 6478-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2021. (Note: This essay illustrates the importance of training managers and faculty about complaint-handling and about being effective bystanders.)
- “The Importance of Bystanders in Threat Assessment and Management.” Borum, Randy, and Mary Rowe. Chapter 24 in The International Handbook of Threat Assessment, 2nd ed., edited by J. Reid Meloy and Jens Hoffmann. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
- “Fostering Constructive Action by Peers and Bystanders in Organizations and Communities.” Rowe, Mary. Negotiation Journal Vol. 34, No. 2 (April 2018): 137-163. (Note: Table One in this article is a long list of “Some Naturally Occurring Helpful Bystander Actions.” This list illustrates the importance of frequent, mundane bystander actions in building community and a culture of conflict management competence, as well as the better-known decisive actions that bystanders can take in emergency situations.
3. Micro-inequities, Micro-aggressions, and Micro-affirmations
Micro-inequities: The term “micro-inequities” is an extension of Professor Chester Pierce’s original 1970 work on racist micro-aggressions—everyday, subtle, intentional or unintentional interactions or behaviors that are perceived to communicate bias and/or hostility. In 1973, Mary Rowe’s original definition of micro-inequities was: “apparently small events which are often ephemeral and hard-to-prove, events which are covert, often unintentional, frequently unrecognized by the perpetrator, which occur wherever people are perceived to be ‘different.’” Her definition was later expanded to include a yet-wider set of all micro-events whose effects are perceived to be unfair, whether or not “aggressive.”
Micro-affirmations: Rowe defined this term in 1973 as“apparently small acts, which are often ephemeral and hard-to-see, events that are public and private, often unconscious but very effective, which occur wherever people wish to help others to succeed.”
- "BELONGING—The Feeling That We ‘Belong’ May Depend in Part on ‘Affirmations.’” Rowe, Mary. MIT Sloan Working Paper 6452-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, December 2022.
- "Micro-inequities in Medicine." Silver, Julie K., Mary Rowe, Michael S. Sinha, Diana M. Molinares, Nancy D. Spector, and Debjani Mukherjee. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 10, No. 10 (October 2018): 1106-1114. Download paper.
- "Micro-affirmations Need a Research Agenda." Rowe, Mary. Working paper, 2017.
- "Gender Microinequities." Rowe, Mary P., and Anna Giraldo-Kerr. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender, edited by Kevin L. Nadal, 679-682. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, July 2017.
- "Unconscious Bias: May Micro-Affirmations Provide One Answer?" Rowe, Mary. MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research commentary, February 2015.
- “A Nobel Prize Winner’s Life of Mentoring." Rowe, Mary. 2023. (Note: The essay has been shared by The Chronicle of Evidence-based Mentoring.)
II. Promoting Equity in Higher EducationThe older articles below (1977-1989, in reverse chronological order) discuss the importance of individuals and their one-on-one relationships for changing a culture to make it more inclusive. These ideas build on the concept of supportive individual relationships functioning within intentional institutional frameworks (for recruiting, mentoring, affinity groups, conflict management, and Board management).
- “What Actually Works? The One-to-one Approach” (PDF). Rowe, Mary P. In Educating the Majority: Women Challenge Tradition in Higher Education, edited by Carol S. Pearson, Donna L. Shavlik, and Judith G. Touchton, 375-384. American Council on Education/Macmillan, 1989.
- “Selected Programs and Policies that Promote Sex Equity at … MIT.” Rowe, Mary. In Bogart, Karen, Toward Equity: An Action Manual for Women in Academe. Washington, D.C: Association of American Colleges, 1984.
- “Building ‘Mentoring’ Frameworks for Blacks (and Other People) as Part of an Effective Equal Opportunity Ecology” (PDF). Rowe, Mary. In Proceedings of the First National Conference on Issues Facing Black Administrators at Predominantly White Colleges and Universities, 1982. (Note: This article was revised—and given further focus—from the article below.)
- “Building Mentorship Frameworks as Part of an Effective Equal Opportunity Ecology” (PDF). Rowe, Mary P. In Sex Discrimination in Higher Education: Strategies for Equality, edited by Jennifer Farley, 23-33. Ithaca, NY: New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, 1981.
- “A Handy, Dandy, Quick and Practical Checklist for Women Trustees.” Rowe, Mary. In Gateways and Barriers for Women in the University Community, edited by Kathryn Moore, 48-53. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977.
III. Promoting Health-Related Equity in the Workplace
This section contains several articles from the 1980s that address health-related equity issues, which call for continuous ethical analysis, strategic planning, extensive human resources expertise—and sometimes major, unexpected additional resources. Issues like the HIV/AIDS pandemic and genetic testing involve extraordinary safety concerns, privacy concerns, and multiple dilemmas about discrimination and fairness in the workplace.
- “New Issues in Testing the Work Force: Genetic Diseases.” Rowe, Mary P., Malcolm L. Russell-Einhorn, and Jerome N. Weinstein. Labor Law Journal 38, No. 8 (August 1987): 518-23.
- “Firms Should Set Up Task Force to Deal With AIDS in the Workplace.” Rowe, Mary P. Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1986.
- “The Fear of AIDS.” Rowe, Mary P., Malcolm Russell-Einhorn, and Michael A. Baker. Harvard Business Review 64, No. 4 (July-August 1986): 28-30, 34-36. Report No. 86411.