For many women in the workplace, gender discrimination stretches beyond sexually inappropriate behavior, affecting their opportunities and privileges in the workplace. While many of the headlines in the last year involve women coming forward to allege sexual misconduct against former employers or colleagues, gender discrimination encompasses many more kinds of unacceptable workplace behavior.

Gender discrimination may also apply to men, but is less commonly reported. Regardless of the gender of the person experiencing the discrimination, it is important for the victim to understand his or her rights under the law and how to protect them. In many instances, it is useful for victims of gender discrimination to consult with an established attorney who understands the nuances of pursuing such claims and protecting the victim’s rights in the process.

High gender concentration may increase likelihood of gender discrimination

Recent headlines involving gender discrimination declared that women who work in science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields (STEM) face considerable gender discrimination in the workplace.

Women in STEM fields report regularly missing out on promotions or desirable assignments, or coworkers assuming they are secretaries or other support staff rather than workplace equals. STEM fields regularly involve many career paths traditionally dominated by men, sometimes meaning that women in these jobs have very few other women to support them in the workplace.

In some cases, those surveyed indicated that they faced discrimination and limitations to their career advancement not only from men in the workplace, but also from other women who presumably perceived very little room for multiple women to advance in the same career path.

What can I do about gender discrimination in my workplace?

No matter what career path you choose, you may face gender discrimination. Whether you face this unacceptable behavior in a job you’ve held for some time, or believe that your gender led a potential employer to choose another candidate for a position, you may have grounds to file a civil claim against the offending party.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, gender discrimination is prohibited, and violations may affect the offending party severely. However, these claims are often difficult to prove effectively, so it is important for you to make sure that you fully understand how to document these abuses and build an effective claim before moving forward.