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Women say that workplace discrimination comes in many forms

As the recent spate of sexual harassment scandals has shown, the workplace is not always a welcoming environment for women. Sexual harassment is currently the most widely discussed challenge for women in the workplace, but it is hardly the only one. According to a new survey, American women report facing many different forms of gender discrimination while on the job.

The Pew Research Center has released a new study on gender discrimination in the United States workforce. The data show that 42 percent of working women say they have dealt with discrimination based on their gender. And according to the respondents, workplace discrimination occurs in a variety of ways.

The many types of discrimination

The survey included 4,914 employees who were representative of national demographics such as race and education. Female employees reported several forms of gender-based discrimination, both overt and insidious. 

Sometimes, women in the workplace reported being disregarded in favor of their male colleagues. Examples include:

  • Being paid less than their male colleagues for doing the same work
  • Male coworkers receiving more support and guidance from superiors
  • Being regarded as less competent than male colleagues
  • Senior leadership passing them over for important projects
  • Senior leadership denying them a promotion
  • Losing a job to a less experienced male colleague

Other times, women felt that they were singled out based on their gender. This could include:

  • Dealing with gender-based slights
  • Feeling isolated in the workplace because of their gender
  • Receiving unwanted, sexually charged comments
  • Receiving unwanted sexual advances

How employers can help

Employers who are concerned that their female employees may be experiencing gender-based discrimination have a variety of options. The first is to set up a comprehensive policy for dealing with workplace discrimination. The second is to create a transparent and effective method for victims of discrimination to report their claims without fear of retribution. The third is to consult an employment attorney with whom they can consult on matters of gender discrimination.

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