3 Subtle Ways Women Face Workplace Discrimination

Posted on: 14 September 2018

"You've come a long way, baby" was the advertising tagline years ago for a cigarette marketed to women. And indeed, women have come a long way as the country nears the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in which women were giving the right to vote. However, when it comes to equality in the workplace, women have gone long enough. Discrimination against women still occurs, and recent current affairs in Hollywood only underline this. Gender bias doesn't always present itself overtly, either. Here's three signs of subtle on-the-job discrimination many women face daily.

Women Are Ignored

In almost every area of life, not just the workplace, it is the rare woman who has not experienced the phenomenon of bringing up ideas, making suggestions for improvement, or attempting to address concerns only to have them summarily dismissed or outright ignored. She is discounted, only to have her exact same thoughts later regurgitated by a man and  be forced to watch him not only recognized, but given status and glory for coming up with such a great solution.

Women Are Held to Gender Roles

It's the rare office where a man's job responsibilities include making the coffee, and unless a woman is a personal assistant, secretary, or works in the company cafeteria, she rarely has coffee duty as a specific responsibility, either. That doesn't stop many company environments from ushering women into this role, subtly pigeonholing females into this role of caretaker and housekeeper.

Women Are Held to Stereotypes

Women are expected to act, dress, talk, and look feminine. If she doesn't, her sexual orientation is suspect. Women who do fit the feminine mode are considered submissive and viewed as potential conquests and subjected to unwanted attention. In the worst-case scenarios, women are placed in a position of having to choose between giving into a man's sexual advances or having life made difficult or even losing her job. A woman who is a single mother or viewed as desperate are even more at risk as they often cannot afford to lose their job. Predators seek out the vulnerable. Rather than being seen as equals and coworkers, they are seen first as women. If a woman is assertive, like men, they are viewed as difficult — or worse — if they don't defer to men or they fight for their rights. These women may be denied promotions.

These instances of discrimination are difficult to prove, but a pattern can be established over time. If you feel you are being discriminated at work because of your gender or any other reason, consult an attorney who specializes in discrimination, like those at Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C.