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7 Things You Need to Understand About Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

It’s sometimes tempting to think that gender discrimination is a thing of the past but this could not be further from the truth. As many as 42 percent of American working women have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. Yet this discrimination comes in many forms: what can it look like and who is most affected by it?

As a society, we need to crack down on sexism in the workplace and everywhere else, too. It’s not acceptable for individuals to be treated worse because of their gender. We want to give you the information you need to recognize and combat this sexism.

The wage gap is the most common issue cited but gender discrimination like this comes in many different forms. In this guide, we’re going to show you some of the most common kinds.

Ready to get informed and start standing up to sexism in the workplace? Then read on and get empowered!

What Does Gender Discrimination In the Workplace Look Like?

To put it in its simplest terms, gender discrimination in the workplace is where someone is treated differently at work because of their gender. While this overwhelmingly happens to women, it can also happen to men in certain industries such as in education. There are many different faces of gender discrimination: let’s take a look at some of the most common kinds.

Recruitment and Retention

Gender discrimination in the workplace can begin before someone even starts working there. HR representatives may ask different questions to women than they do to men, for instance. 

When men are interviewed, they are rarely asked if they plan on having children yet women are often asked whether they plan on becoming pregnant . This intrusion is based on an outdated idea that women will leave their job to raise their children. This does not impact a woman’s skills but interviewers still ask it.

Terminations are also impacted by gender discrimination: women may be fired for speaking out and asking for equal treatment.

Career Opportunities

Women may have fewer career opportunities than men. There may be a glass ceiling that prevents women from rising to the top of the company. 

Additionally, some employers will give women fewer responsibilities than their male counterparts. This gives them fewer chances to prove themselves.

Working Life

Do male co-workers treat you differently or exclude you from conversations? Are there fewer restrooms for one gender than the other? Both of these are examples of workplace sexism that can make life uncomfortable.

Sexual Harassment

Some co-workers may see fit to continuously make sexual remarks to you or demonstrate sexual behavior to you that makes you uncomfortable. At its worst, sexual harassment can turn into sexual assault. 

The Groups Most Affected By Gender Discrimination

Which groups are most affected by gender discrimination in the workplace? While women are most affected, which groups of women are affected, and how are men affected?

Women of Color

While women as a whole are most affected by gender discrimination in the workplace, non-white women often have to deal with more than their white friends.

A lot of racial stereotypes bind to sexist ones that lead to women of color facing unique challenges that don’t affect other women. For instance, white women are often seen as friendly and warm. Black women who stand up against sexism can be perceived to be more aggressive than white women.

Black women can also face bigger issues when attempting to get a promotion and may have bosses assuming that they won’t work hard. 

This discrimination also affects Asian women. Employers may presume that Asian women are submissive, lack leadership, and their co-workers and bosses may exoticize them. Others may also stereotype them as being hard-workers, good at math, and harsh expectations may be put on what they look like.

Discrimination Against Men

While women are more often discriminated against than men, men can also suffer gender discrimination in the workplace. This is particularly common in female-dominated careers such as teaching or nursing.

For instance, male elementary school teachers may be judged as suspicious where female teachers are not due to cultural bias. Male nurses and midwives may also face different treatment than their female counterparts. 

For instance, male nurses may be seen as less competent than women. This discrimination can also intersect with homophobia where male nurses are perceived as gay, which some patients may discriminate against.

What Can Be Done About Discrimination?

What can you do about discrimination? The most important thing to know about gender discrimination in the workplace is to know what it looks like. In this guide, we hope that we’ve shown you different forms that discrimination can take and how damaging it can be.

If you believe that your bosses or co-workers are discriminating against you because of your gender, you are not powerless. You can contact a women’s issues advocate or a lawyer and take legal action against your employer.

You may be able to take your employer to an industrial tribunal and claim compensation for the discrimination that you’ve suffered. Your legal action does not exist in a vacuum. It may have a wider impact on the company or the industry as a whole, too.

The only way that we can change the climate of gender discrimination in the workplace is by confronting it and by taking action against it. Legal action is the best way to enforce your rights and become empowered. Do not be silent if your employer or co-workers have mistreated you.

Interested In Learning More?

We hope that this guide to gender discrimination in the workplace has been helpful for you. If it’s something that you’ve experienced, you can and should take action to change the world for the better.

If you’d like to learn more about other workplace issues, please check out our blog! If you enjoyed this article, consider following us on social media so you can get access to our posts as soon as they’re published.

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