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Addressing gender biases at work

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | workplace discrimination |

Gender discrimination persists in the workplace even with laws promoting equal opportunity. This discrimination can manifest in various forms, hindering personal growth and creating an unfair environment.

Signs of gender discrimination

Whether you notice it or not, discrimination may happen anywhere at any given time. Subtle signs include increased interruptions during meetings or having your ideas dismissed.

  • Microaggression: These can be indirect or unintentional actions and comments that can be insulting to a specific gender.
  • Unequal treatment: Male colleagues get promotions and more leadership opportunities than women, even if their qualifications are equal or superior.
  • Stereotyping: During discussions, some may see men as persuasive, but when it comes from a woman, they are seen as bossy. Perceptions like this may hold women back from progressing in their careers.
  • Exclusion: This can take different forms, such as not inviting women to important meetings or social events or excluding them from professional networking opportunities.

In addition, there is also the topic of salary gaps between female and male employees. Sometimes, women earn significantly less than men in the same role, even within the same company. This disparity can have a long-term impact on a woman’s financial security.

Combating gender discrimination

If you feel like you are experiencing gender discrimination at work, there are several ways to deal with it. If the comment or action really bothered you, you may privately speak to the person who made it and stand your ground. Make it clear that you will not tolerate anything that is offensive or inappropriate. Remember to remain calm and professional.

If a direct conversation is not possible or effective, reporting wrongdoing to supervisors or HR can be the next step. If wrongdoing continues or worsens, legal action can be an option worth pursuing.

Why companies should step up

The lack of recognition may decrease job satisfaction, motivation and employee retention. Companies must have clear policies against gender discrimination and act on them. They must also discuss salary structure to identify, and address pay gaps and continue to foster a culture of respect and inclusivity. By creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and heard, regardless of gender, corporations can unlock the full potential of their diverse workforce.