Understanding gender discrimination in the workplace

Gender discrimination in the workplace is a serious concern for people who wish to further their job opportunities.

Although federal laws mandate the fair treatment of both men and women in the workplace, gender discrimination still exists in a number of industries in Washington D.C. and across the country. For decades, women have fought to receive the same rights as men when it comes to employment. Many would believe that the thought of gender discrimination is a thing of the past. Surprisingly enough, however, males and females continue to be treated differently in the workplace, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Types of gender discrimination

Federal legislation, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, requires employers to give equal pay to both men and women who hold the same position in a company. Compensation should be based on experience and job performance rather than gender. Yet, many women still report a discrepancy when it comes to earning the same wages as men in their industries.

Unequal pay is not the only type of gender discrimination that occurs in work environments. According to TechRepublic, some women report that they are not entrusted with the same responsibilities as their male counterparts. This lack of challenge can sometimes lead to diminished opportunities for a promotion, bonus or further advancement in the company.

Gender discrimination can begin as early as the interview process. Women may be asked different questions than men, even though they are applying for the same position. Also, social norms and stereotypes may shuttle a woman into a position that is typically thought to be held by a female. For example, a woman may be interviewed for a secretarial position rather than given an opportunity working in security.

Implications of discrimination

Not only is discrimination harmful to the overall dynamics of the work environment, gender bias can contribute to the overall decline of a company. Discrimination can affect productivity, creativity and the growth of a business. If not attended to in a direct manner, discrimination has the ability to cause the ultimate decline of a company's structure.

When to seek legal counsel

If you feel as though you have been victimized by gender discrimination in the workplace or any other type of bias, you may want to speak with an attorney who has experience handling employment law cases. When you bring discrimination to the attention of others, it may save someone else from receiving the same type of harassment. A lawyer in Washington D.C. may be able to look at the details of your situation and help you choose the right path.