What is Gender Discrimination in the Workplace?

Gender discrimination in the workplace occurs when either a man or a woman is discriminated against because of their gender. Sometimes, the words gender and sex are used interchangeably in the laws regarding this type of discrimination though. This can be confusing because some people may be of one sex but identify with the opposite gender. There are also rare occurrences of people identifying with both sexes simultaneously. The law clearly states that companies are not to discriminate against or take any retaliatory actions towards an individual no matter what their sex or identifying gender is. Still, it happens more often than people think. So it is important to understand how to identify it, what some common examples of it are, and what to do if it happens to you.

How Can a Person Tell If They Are Being Discriminated Against Because of Their Gender?

Some industries in the United States are still tailored to one gender. And this makes it difficult for those who are of the opposite gender to break into the field even if they have all of the necessary qualifications. An example of this can be seen by looking at the automotive industry, which mainly employees men. Women who choose to work in a car repair shop or a store that sells automotive parts may potentially face discrimination because male supervisors might not believe that they are capable of handling such a position. The best way to tell if the reason that a person was not hired was because of their gender is to take a look at the actions of the person who they spoke with whenever they applied for the position. Sneers, inappropriate comments that have a sexist connotation, and a firm denial of the job without reviewing the person’s application could all be signs of this, especially if someone of the opposite gender who applies is treated with much more respect and dignity. Gender discrimination in the workplace can occur in the following ways besides the hiring process though:

-Receiving less pay than the opposite gender
-Being denied promotions or specific positions because of one’s gender
-Receiving sexist insults and derogatory remarks
-Being called the opposite gender than the gender that a person identifies with
-Being subjected to sexual harassment
-Being fired because of the choice to begin identifying with the opposite gender

Is Gender Discrimination Ever Combined With Other Forms of Harassment or Discrimination?

Gender discrimination in the workplace is often a clear sign of a toxic work environment that a company has allowed to continue despite their own policies that forbid it. Because of this, it is common for individuals who are forced to endure this type of treatment at work to receive other forms of harassment and discrimination too. For example, a man of color who works in the fashion industry might be subjected to racist jokes and other inappropriate comments by women in the same company as him who don’t think that men should design women’s clothing. By law, a lawsuit could be brought against them for sexual harassment and gender and racial discrimination.

What Can Someone Do If They Are the Victim of Gender Discrimination?

Victims of gender discrimination have to be able to prove their case in court by offering undeniable examples of the poor treatment. Otherwise, there is a good chance that their case will be thrown out. Because of this, it is crucial that anyone who is affected by it file a grievance regarding it with their company’s human resources manager and the supervisor over their department. A copy of the policies regarding the acceptable behavior of the company’s employees should also be obtained. That way, these documents can be used to show that an attempt was made to handle the situation outside of a courtroom. If the company still refuses to do anything about the problem though, it is important to seek legal help right away from an experienced attorney who specializes in discrimination and harassment cases.

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