Women in the Modern Workplace: A Look into Workplace Discrimination

Thanks to many brave women in our past, women today have the right to choose their career and work. With more and more women entering the workforce, it’s important to look at ways in which women may be treated different from their male counterparts. Despite the many laws and programs in place protecting people, workplace discrimination is still felt by many women. Learning about the forms of gendered discrimination in the workplace is an important step in identifying it and calling it out.    

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” There have been people fighting all forms of workplace discrimination for decades. Organizations like the EEOC and anti-discrimination laws are currently in place to protect workers today. Even with laws in place, 42% of women claim to have faced workplace discrimination.

What Types of Discrimination do Women Face?

Discrimination comes in many forms are targets many more people than just women. However, women are most likely to face discrimination when it comes to pay, opportunity, workplace environment, and sexual harassment.

Pay Inequality

25% of women have reported being discriminated against with their pay. This is most often seen a wage gap between female workers and their male counterparts. A man with the same training and years on the job will get paid more than a woman. In 2022, the wage gap was reported as 17%. Even though big strides have been made in this regard, there is still a lot to do to bring fair pay to women.           

Hostile Work Environment

Many women are forced to work in environments that are uncomfortable for them on account of their gender. 30% of women reported hearing repeated small slights, receiving less support from higher ups and more feelings of isolation. 23% of women reported having their competence questioned.

Denied Workplace Opportunities

Women are often left out of important workplace projects and decisions. 24% of women reported being passed over for important assignments, denied a promotion, or turned down for a job. Women work just as hard as men, yet their efforts are often undermined. There are still substantially less women in management roles than men. That may be, in part, due to women getting passed over for promotions.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is characterized as making unwelcome or inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances. 22% of women reported being sexually harassed in their workplace. No one can feel safe in an environment that also inappropriate sexual conduct to occur. Women should feel safe. In their environment, but that can’t happen until workplace sexual harassment is dealt with.

What You Can Do

It’s important to remember that discrimination on the basis of gender is illegal. If you feel you are being discriminated against, contact a lawyer that specializes in employment law. They’ll be able to walk you through the process and decide if any action needs to be taken against your employer.

Learning about workplace discrimination is for the benefit of all women. Talk about workplace discrimination with co-workers and friends whenever possible. Spreading the word is great way to fight back against discrimination. You can also support organizations that work to end workplace discrimination, like Project WHEN. Remember, women can be strong and confident, don’t be afraid to push boundaries in your industry.

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