Gender discrimination in the workplace is not a thing of the past, it is still prevalent in the workforce today. In fact recent studies show that approximately 15% of workers today have experienced some form of discrimination based on their sex.
Many people do not think of gender as something that is discriminated against, especially in today's world where as many women as men are in the work force.
Others think that it is simply a question of whether the person gets the same amount of pay as someone performing the same job who is of the opposite sex.
This is not the only form of discrimination that takes place though. "Equal pay for equal work" is a major issue in many industries and areas of business but it is far from the only issue facing those being discriminated against based on their gender.
Women are often overlooked for job advancement, or for positions that they are more qualified to fill than their male competitors, because employers fear that they will not be as committed to the company as they are to their families, or that they will miss time due to children, family obligations or future pregnancies.
This type of attitude can cause women to have to work harder for more years before they can reach the same positions as other co-workers.
There is often also an attitude or opinion that women can not be as hard nosed or unemotional when in a position of power. Even though there is no proof or research to back it up, there is a fear among some male executives that women will not be able to fire someone or make the tough decisions when they need to.
In fact some studies show that women in positions of power are forced to be more cut-throat in order to keep the respect of others and to be considered one of the "boys".
There is sometimes a difference in pay that women receive, compared to men in the same position, showing that discrimination in this area is still rampant in the workforce.
In fact according to the U.S bureau of labour statistics women, who work incredibly long hours of more than 60 hours a week, end up making only 78.3% of what their male counterparts make. They can do a better job, put in longer hours and have more productivity and still end up earning 25% less than someone else just because they are a woman.
There are many women who feel the effects of gender discrimination in their line of work. It is not just in fields that have been traditionally considered male jobs. It is present in every field, every occupation to some degree, whether it is by less pay, less respect or less opportunity.
The world of decision-makers has claimed that they are all about everyone being equal but the numbers show other wise. We still have a long way to go before equality is truly the norm. North America is a leader in setting the pace.
Other countries around the world don't allow women to work in some areas. Often in these countries, where women don't receive respect or decision making powers, they are discriminated against in every area of life, not just the work force.
It is important to stop discrimination on every level and if North America really wants to be a leader in setting the pace and being the example, then we need to ensure that we are not just talking the talk but that we are walking the walk and ending gender discrimination in the workforce and every area of life.
For assistance with gender discrimination problems or other labour relations issues in your organization, contact us.