Gender discrimination still a significant problem

In recent years, women have risen to top positions in companies such as Yahoo!, General Motors and Hewlett-Packard. While this may lead some to believe that gender discrimination is a problem of the past, experts caution that this is not the case. Indeed, although it may not always be as easy to spot as in previous years, gender discrimination is still a significant problem in American workplaces.

Over the past ten years, researchers have conducted numerous studies on women's experiences in the workplace. The findings of these studies include:

  • In cases where both women and men work together on a project at work, leadership is more likely to give men more credit
  • Women are generally promoted due to performance, whereas men tend to be promoted because they were promised a new position
  • Management has a tendency to view mothers as less dedicated to their work than women without children, whereas fathers tend to be promoted more than men without children

Although stories outlining women's successes in the workplace might seem to be a good thing, too often the media fails to tell the whole story, with the result that it is easy for people to believe that women are doing better than they actually are. For example, in 2012, one author cited statistics from the U.S. Labor Department to prove that the percentage of working women who earn more than their husbands has increased over the past 30 years. According to the Labor Department, in 1987, only 24 percent of women earned more than their husbands. By 2012, that number had reached 38 percent. The statistics, however, are deceiving: additional research has shown that the majority of these gains are made up of women who make as little as $1 more than their husbands and women in low income families.

The danger, of course, is for everyone, no matter their gender, to become complacent and to stop viewing discrimination as an issue in American workplaces. The reality is that discrimination is still a significant problem and one that occurs every day. Just because instances of discrimination may be more subtle than they once were does not make them any less harmful.

If you believe that you have experienced discrimination at work, remember that you have rights. Schedule a consultation with an experienced employment attorney, who can evaluate your case, explain your options and work with you on determining what steps to take next. Talk to an employment attorney today to learn more.