International Women’s Day: Raising Awareness of Gender Discrimination

By: Derek Demeri
On: February 28, 2023

gender discrimination at work

What are Examples of Gender Discrimination at Work?

Unfortunately, gender discrimination at work is still quite pervasive throughout the United States. It can come in many forms, but the important thing to remember is that regardless of how it manifests itself, it is against the law for your employer to allow or permit such discrimination to occur. Some examples of gender discrimination at work can include harassing an individual on the basis of their gender, denying an individual employment benefits or employment opportunities based on their gender, or allowing or engaging in sexual harassment based on an individual’s gender. While these are some examples of gender discrimination, this list is by no means an exhaustive one. A gender discrimination lawyer can help you determine if your personal situation constitutes gender discrimination in the workplace.

What does Gender Bias in the Workplace Look like?

While not exactly gender discrimination, gender bias refers to situations in which an individual faces unfair disadvantage, or in some cases benefits from unearned advantages, because of his or her gender. Again gender bias is a concept that can take many forms in the workplace, but one of the most commonly used examples is unequal pay between genders. Dozens of studies show that women continue to earn less pay for the same work than their male colleagues. In fact, in 2020 the Bureau of Labor statistics estimated that women’s annual earnings were less than 83% of men’s. However, gender bias is not limited to pay disparity. Biases relating to a woman’s role in rearing children leads thousands of women to leave the workforce every year in order to provide adequate childcare.

What is the Gender Gap?

Another form of inequity that female employees face in the workplace that doesn’t legally fall under gender discrimination is the gender gap. This term refers to the disparity between the ability of women to find work or obtain equal employment environments when compared to men. In the United States it is much more difficult for a woman to find a job than it is for men, and oftentimes, women resort to taking jobs for which they are overqualified. Because many women take jobs that they are overqualified for, it typically takes them longer to rise in the professional ranks and achieve the same level of professional success that their male counterparts experience. Additionally, studies show that once women are employed, it is not uncommon for them to work lower quality jobs, or work in poorer conditions that leave them more vulnerable to unfair, unequal, or even unsafe situations.

Women in the workplace

What are Some Possible Solutions to End Gender Discrimination in the Workplace?

Though women are making excellent strides in promoting gender equality in the workplace, there is still a lot that both employers and employees can do to further encourage gender equality and prevent gender discrimination in the workplace, including:

  1. Build an inclusive company culture where employees feel a sense of belonging and the focus is on enhancing employee experience
  2. Offer flexible employee benefits aimed at reducing stress and promoting better work life balances, such as access to childcare, flexible scheduling, and remote or hybrid work.
  3. Encourage diversity in the hiring and recruitment processes by posting accurate and inclusive job descriptions, sourcing potential employee pools that are gender-diverse, and conducting fair interviews.
  4. Hold managers accountable when they fail to demonstrate fairness between genders or are complicit with discriminatory behavior.
  5. Create a promotion or compensation increase program that sets expectations related to pay and job title and is applied equally to all genders.

What are the Goals of International Women’s Day to End Gender Discrimination?

During international Women’s Day, we take a moment to celebrate the substantial progress women have made towards achieving gender equality and ending gender discrimination. Though it is an opportunity to admire the women’s empowerment movement, it is also a time to reflect and continue to strive for greater gender equality globally.

Gender Discrimination in the Workplace is Illegal!

A number of federal laws prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace and every state likewise has laws in place protecting against workplace discrimination. Under these statutes it is clear that gender discrimination in any form in the workplace is illegal. From unequal pay for equal work, to gender-based discrimination, to offering benefits that disproportionately benefit one gender over another, to making employment related decisions on the basis of an individual’s gender are all examples of discriminatory acts that are prohibited by the law.

When Should you Contact a Gender Discrimination Lawyer?

If you feel as though you are facing gender-based discrimination in the workplace, you may feel lost and be unsure what the next step is that you should take. It can be challenging standing up to your employer, especially if you fear retaliation, losing your job, or facing additional harassment. However, gender discrimination in the workplace is illegal and you shouldn’t have to settle for less than a fair and safe workplace. If you are facing gender discrimination at your place of employment, you should immediately contact a gender discrimination lawyer at Zeff Law Firm to discuss your case. A gender discrimination lawyer can help you determine if your employers’ actions are contrary to what the law allows, and can help you begin to build your case against your employer.

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