Gender discrimination can happen to both men and women in Colorado’s workforce. However, a recent report shows that gender discrimination remains a huge problem among women, and the impact harms both men and women.
A report from the Academy of Management Journal concluded that a perception of gender discrimination reduces the sense of belonging in the workplace among both men and women.
Additionally, the report noted that even though gender discrimination can occur with men and women, the discrimination reduces only women’s success and confidence in the workplace.
Forms of gender discrimination
Gender discrimination can come in many different forms. Some are obvious, while some may be more subtle. You might be a victim of gender discrimination without even knowing it.
Obvious forms of gender discrimination among women include being paid less than male colleagues, being given more work than male colleagues or being sexually harassed.
More subtle gender discrimination could be suddenly being treated differently because you are pregnant. You could also be subjected to comments about how a woman’s place is in the home, or how women do not belong in the workplace.
Comments like these are often explained away as “jokes,” but they are actually forms of discrimination.
Gender discrimination can have a detrimental effect on your job and career. There are countless stories of discrimination victims choosing to leave their jobs or entire professions rather than continue to be subjected to discrimination.
You have a right to be free of discrimination
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission states that employees have a legal right to a discrimination-free workplace, and this includes gender discrimination.
Many gender discrimination victims are afraid to speak up and stay quiet out of fear of losing their job or retaliated against. However, human resources departments should genuinely listen when employees come to them with discrimination concerns.
If you feel you are a victim of gender discrimination, try talking with your human resources department, or the equivalent. Share your feelings in a safe and trusted environment.
Before the conversation, document every instance of discrimination. Your documentation should be detailed and include dates, times and any discriminatory comments made or actions taken.
Remain calm and professional during the conversation. State why you believe you are a victim of gender discrimination and use your documentation to back up your claim.
Taking legal action
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your human resources department will take appropriate action, but remember that you have protections under the law.
If the discrimination does not stop after you disclose it, consider filing a gender discrimination claim.
Proving gender discrimination is challenging. For example, if you believe you did not receive a promotion because of your gender, you must prove you were qualified for the promotion and your gender was the only reason you did not get it.
Even if you prove your case, your employer will have a chance to show a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for not promoting you.
Every discrimination case depends on the specific facts involved. An experienced employment attorney can help you protect your rights and prove your case.