A recent poll that surveyed both men and women about gender discrimination in the workplace found that many people recognize this as an ongoing problem. In fact, 30 percent of women say that they have experienced discrimination at work.
This is particularly shocking since it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their gender. Discrimination can include paying someone less, not considering them for promotional opportunities, or evaluating them differently than other colleagues based on their gender. People who believe that they have not been promoted, not given a raise, or suffered from harsher criticism because of their gender have a right to seek compensation from their employer.
The survey also found that men see this problem as well. About 20 percent of men surveyed said that they would be paid less if they were women.
The truth is that the financial impact is often the most harmful form of gender discrimination. In addition to being arbitrary and illegal, paying women less causes also financial hardship for families. Yet, many who are impacted most by this are afraid to report it. The survey found that women who are in the bottom rungs of an organization are the least likely to report gender discrimination. Women who have risen to the top of an organization are 45 percent more likely to report gender discrimination.
Many agree that public policy should address this issue and make changes to help eliminate discrimination. At the same time, individuals can fight for their rights through legal action, which can help tell their story and make sure the same thing does not happen to other employees.
Source: Think Progress, “A Third of Women Have Experienced Discrimination in the Workplace,” Bryce Covert, Aug. 19, 2013.