Research Shows Gender Discrimination Still High in 2021
Despite how 2021 may feel like women now have some power in the workplace, a recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that 42 percent of women in the United States claimed to have faced at least some form of gender discrimination in the workplace.
Gender Discrimination Comes in Many Forms
Gender discrimination, where employees are treated differently or unfairly based on their gender, is illegal under federal law. Under federal legislation, the Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on color, gender, national origin, race, and religion. Gender bias derives from learned stereotypes, misrepresentation, and objectification.
Examples of gender discrimination in the workplace can look like:
- Being denied or passed over for a promotion
- Being fired or not hired in favor of a preferred gender
- Being fired or not hired due to pregnancy, nursing, children, or family leave
- Receiving unequal pay or fewer benefits
- Having fewer opportunities for advancement or recognition
- Workplace sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching, remarks, gestures, or looks
- Stereotypes surrounding roles specific to male or female genders
According to Headstart, women earn 81 cents for every one dollar a man makes, women are three times more likely to experience harassment, and only 21.7 percent of company board of directors involve women. These discrepancies present issues for all involved, and the laws do not always protect every situation because many discrimination instances are subtle or never revealed.
What Can Employers Do About Gender Discrimination?
To combat gender discrimination, good employers will:
- Implement training
- Zero-tolerance policies
- Special family-friendly insurance plans
- Increased transparency about pay
In the end, employers have a legal obligation to make sure the workplace is safe for all employees. While everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to identify and report gender discrimination, the burden ultimately falls on the individual.
What Should Victims of Gender Discrimination Do?
If you have been experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, take the following actions:
- Report the incident: It is crucial to report discrimination to prevent it in the future.
- Document it: If gender biases are suspected in the workplace, it is vital to keep a record of evidence related to the discrimination.
- Notify HR: If the person is unapproachable, the employer or human resources should be notified. Internal complaints are the best first step when discrimination is not coming from anyone in the department.
- Talk to an attorney: If that does not work or more help is needed, the party facing discrimination can file charges with their state. It is also a good idea to hire an employment lawyer.