In today’s world, most employers aren’t going to obviously discriminate against you based on your gender. It’s not that insults and cutting remarks never happen, but most people understand that gender discrimination is illegal, they know the ramifications, and they tone it down compared to previous generations of workers.
That does not mean it doesn’t exist. It may simply mean that workers hide it better.
A female CEO, when writing about the challenges she’d faced in the workplace, identified five different signs of gender bias. They are as follows:
1. Teamwork leads to promotions, but only for male members of the team.
Everyone is successful. You work together well and never feel discriminated against on the team. You accomplish your goals together. Then your boss swoops in and promotes a male co-worker who did the exact same work that you did, all without acknowledging your contributions.
2. Men’s comments get taken more seriously in meetings.
You spend all night coming up with a viable cost-cutting solution for the morning meeting. You present it, and it’s met with slight nods as the team moves on to the next point. Ten minutes later, a male co-workers presents the same idea. Suddenly, everyone gets interested and acts like he has just saved the company.
3. You can’t be liked and in control.
If you’re strict, others in the office resent you. If you’re ambitious, they think you’re being mean. They may respect you, but they’re not your friends. If you’re kind and friendly, you all get along. However, you can tell that they don’t take you seriously. Men don’t seem to have any problem being in control and being well liked, but you have to choose.
4. Your boss keeps asking about kids.
You can tell that your boss worries that you’re going to have kids, and he won’t let it go. If you do make that decision, you can tell he no longer thinks you’re committed to the job. Again, men have no problem doing both. Plenty of respected, committed co-workers have kids at home. If you want to be a mother, though, they act like you can’t handle it.
5. Other women try to push you down.
Some women look at the statistics and think there’s no way that multiple women will be able to climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top, where men dominate the company. As a result, those above and below you may feel threatened by you. They try to derail your career or won’t work with you the way men will.
Again, gender discrimination is illegal in the modern workplace, but it does exist. Be sure you know what signs to look for and what to do when you see it.