Gender discrimination can have serious effects in the workplace

Gender discrimination occurs in the workplace and may have multiple effects on employees and employers as well.

Whether people feel as though they have been turned down for a promotion because of their gender, or they are paid less than their opposite sex cohort, gender discrimination exists in the workplace. Discrimination occurs whenever people in the workplace are treated differently because of their race, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, religious beliefs or socioeconomic background. Gender discrimination, however, is extremely prominent and can be seen in many industries in Massachusetts and across the nation. Although federal law protects women, men and other minorities from discrimination, this unfortunate practice still occurs.

Types of gender bias

There are several ways in which gender bias can occur on-the-job. The issue of unequal pay between sexes is one of the most common. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 supposedly put a stop to this unfair practice, yet some women complain that while they have the same job title and perform the same duties as their male counterparts, they continue to earn a lower pay.

Managers and the way they interact with their male and female employees may also differ, and this may be considered gender bias. Women may receive diminished responsibilities or be talked to in a way that makes them feel inferior. Furthermore, women should have the same opportunities to grow in the company. Yet some women feel as though there is a glass ceiling when it comes to making their way through the company ranks.

Gender bias can also occur when people think of one sex holding a certain position. For example, a secretary position is traditionally for females, while a business executive is primarily for males. These views are gradually changing, but may exist in some work settings.

The effect of discrimination

When people feel like they are not being treated in a fair manner at work, there can be a host of consequences that affect not only the worker, but the company as a whole. When workers are treated well and feel like they are a valued member of the company, they generally work harder. People who experience gender bias may be less productive, which could affect the company's bottom line. Employees who handle discrimination may also give off a negative air, which could affect other employees as well. If people become disgruntled about the company, they could start to speak ill of the business and may inadvertently sabotage sales.

Finding justice

If you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, you are not alone. You have the right to feel safe and treated as an equal in your work environment. A Massachusetts attorney who understands employment law may be helpful in answering your questions and ensuring your rights are upheld.

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