Clearly, you should not have to put up with gender discrimination or sexual harassment when you go to work. However, while many American workplaces have improved in recent years, as a woman, you remain at a disadvantage in a few respects. For example, female workers often report hitting a glass ceiling that prevents them from seeking higher-level positions. In the modern workplace, women also earn just 81 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make.
Federal and state laws protect you from workplace discrimination. Unfortunately, discrimination is not exactly rare in the Keystone State. While employment discrimination can occur anywhere, it is increasingly common in certain workplaces.
Working in a male-dominated workplace
If you work in a male-dominated workplace, you may have an increased risk of both sexual harassment and gender discrimination. In a 2017 survey from the Pew Research Center, roughly 50% of women who work in majority-male workplaces reported sexual harassment as a problem. The same survey also found that women workers were three times more likely than their male colleagues to experience gender discrimination.
Identifying male-dominated workplaces
Some occupations tend to attract female workers, while others appeal to men. The Pew survey identifies health care, education and caregiving as popular fields for women professionals. By contrast, men often outpace women in traditionally blue-collar jobs, such as construction or equipment operation. More men also work as computer programmers and engineers, according to the Pew Research Center.
Reporting gender discrimination
Where you work may not only enhance your discrimination risk, but it may also make remedying the problem more difficult. The Pew survey shows that in male-majority workplaces, women are less likely to report gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Even worse, many women who work in male-majority jobs report feeling like their employers do not focus enough on promoting gender diversity at the workplace.
Keep in mind that the law not only provides protection from discrimination, but also from retaliation. If your employer takes an adverse employment action against you after you report the problem, you have legal options.