Based on statistics from today’s workplace, a woman earns 82 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job. Along with being unfair, it shows a continuing problem with gender discrimination. Though many women hold executive positions within major corporations and are better represented in male-dominated industries, much work still lies ahead to change long-standing viewpoints. Since this discrimination can take many forms and negatively impact a woman’s career path, it is important to not only know the causes and effects of discrimination based on gender, but also when it will be necessary to hire a gender discrimination lawyer to ensure one’s legal rights are protected.
Why Does This Discrimination Occur?
Like any type of discrimination, having a bias based on a person’s gender is irrational and serves no useful purpose. However, since various industries have always been dominated by males, women entering such areas as construction, automotive, and other similar situations have encountered everything from an occasional negative comment to hostile work environments and little if any chance of getting a raise or promotion. Because of this, it may be important to use the services of an experienced gender discrimination attorney to make sure your skills and talents will be allowed to flourish within your chosen career.
Refusing to Promote Women
In many workplaces where either woman are under-represented or have male business owners, managers, and supervisors, one form of discrimination related to gender involves refusing to promote women into supervisory or management positions. In many cases, even if a woman is well-qualified for the position, she will be denied for various reasons, such as an alleged lack of experience or other reasons. Unfortunately, this is not limited to industries where women are few and far between, but also ones where women are well-represented but simply have male executives above them.
Unwillingness to Change Viewpoints
Despite society and its viewpoints changing around them, many male business owners and managers still have an unwillingness to change their way of thinking about women in the workplace. While many people think this applies only to older male managers and owners, it can also be evident in younger male managers as well. In many cases, this form of discrimination can be somewhat subtle, allowing managers to get away with it for many years. However, if you find yourself working hard in your job and getting nowhere while males around you with limited qualifications continue to advance, it may be best to contact West Coast Employment Lawyers to discuss possibly filing a discrimination complaint.
Conflict and Tension in the Workplace
When gender discrimination exists in a workplace, conflict and tension always occur and have a very negative impact on many aspects of the business. Since the contributions of female employees are often belittled or devalued, the result is seeing the focus shift from getting daily tasks done to thinking mostly about how to go about filing a formal complaint against the business. When this happens, numerous employees will be negatively affected, which can ultimately spill over to worsening customer service and other problems.
Lack of Motivation
In any situation where a person feels as if their contributions to an activity are not appreciated or valued, the result is a lack of motivation to do their best. In cases where women are discriminated against due to their gender, a lack of motivation can become a major problem in a short period of time. If this is allowed to persist, a company can find itself losing key employees, which will ultimately show itself in such areas as production, customer service, and employee retention.
Loss of Productivity
If a company continually promotes unqualified individuals into positions of management and supervision simply because they are male, the result will eventually be a loss of productivity in the business. Since well-qualified female employees will leave the company or be unmotivated to do their best, the business may begin to lose money and experience significant losses in productivity. Once this starts to become the norm, it can take years to turn this situation around, even if new practices and policies are immediately implemented.
While some businesses that have used discriminatory practices for years may think they are immune to potential problems, the fact is sooner or later any business that discriminates against its employees or others will face major legal repercussions. After all, it only takes one employee or job applicant to consult with a gender discrimination attorney and then file a formal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to send a business reeling. Since a complaint will initiate a thorough investigation by the federal government due to possible violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even the largest company can find itself facing stiff fines and penalties should the complaint be deemed valid. In most cases, not only will an employee be entitled to a promotion, pay raise, and possibly back pay and other benefits, but company executives and other employees found guilty of discrimination may be fired or forced to resign.
To solve this type of discrimination within a workplace, one of the best ways to combat the problem is to have a workforce that is as diverse as possible. By combining not only men and women on an equal basis, but also hiring employees that vary in ages and backgrounds, it will be much easier to have a workplace that is filled with people who have progressive viewpoints and decades of life experience. As a result, it becomes easier to discuss concerns about discrimination and other related topics, leading to a company that can continually make changes to its policies and procedures to accommodate society’s changing views on employment and other matters.
Examining Job Requirements
If a company wants to increase the diversity of its workforce and allow women additional career opportunities, a smart thing to do is to reexamine job requirements to see if they can be modified for new applicants. By doing so, this will often open up the door to women who may have been stay-at-home mothers for years but are now ready to reenter the workforce.
Transgender Applicants and Employees
With more and more transgender individuals becoming more open about their sexual orientation, many are finding they too are victims of gender discrimination. Due to the growing likelihood a company will have transgender job applicants and employees, it is crucial HR departments have policies and procedures in place to ensure discriminatory practices do not take place. In addition to transgender employees and job applicants, businesses should also have policies in place to accommodate transgender customers, which will help to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
While society may be continually taking many steps forward in becoming more inclusive, there are still many individuals and companies that refuse to join in and welcome a more diverse workforce. Thus, if you feel you are a victim of discrimination based on your gender, do not sit back in silence. Instead, have the courage to contact a gender discrimination lawyer at West Coast Employment Lawyers for a consultation. By doing so, you will show those who discriminated against you that you are taking a stand to have your legal rights protected.