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How Gender Discrimination Can Affect Job Promotions

By Gregory Thyberg on May 16, 2018


A meeting with an attorneyWhile we’ve come a long way in terms of gender equality in civil rights over the last 60 years, there is still a long ways to go for true equality among the sexes. That is apparent in the workplace, where many of the high-level positions at most companies have been held by men for many years. Promotions can help correct this imbalance, but some employers may prevent women from being promoted solely on their gender.

The team at our Sacramento, CA law firm would like to consider how gender discrimination can affect your career and upward mobility within a company. If you feel you have been the victim of gender discrimination, an attorney at our legal practice can help.

How Common Is Gender-Based Discrimination?

According to an article published by the Pew Research Center in December 2017, 42 percent of women surveyed aid that they have experienced some form of gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Based on their findings, 1 in 4 women who have been discriminated against have earned less money for the same job done by a male co-worker. In addition, 23 percent of women say they have been treated as if they were less competent because of their gender, and 16 percent said they experienced repeated gender-based slights at work.

Regarding promotions, 7 percent of women said that they were turned down or denied a promotion as a result of their gender.

Challenges in Male-Dominated Professions

Gender-discrimination tends to be more common in male-dominated fields. A Pew study published in March 2018 noted that a plurality of women (48 percent) were in workplaces where there were more men than women. With men in positions of power and seniority, it can be more difficult for women to advanced within the company.

This March 2018 Pew study noted that women were almost three times more likely than men to say that gender played a role in workplace discrimination.

An Example of Gender Discrimination in Job Promotions

Say that there are two candidates for the same management position, one man and one woman. They have very similar job performance records, but the woman has been at the company longer than her male co-worker. Despite the female employee’s seniority and good job record, their supervisor decides to promote the male candidate.

This is a prime example of potential gender-based job discrimination since the female employee’s longer contributions to the company appear to have been disregarded when it came to a potential promotion.

Aspects of Sexual Harassment with Gender Discrimination

Another element to gender-based discrimination is the potential for sexual harassment. In these cases, a supervisor may ask for an inappropriate personal relationship with a female employee in order for her promotion to be considered. This is completely unacceptable, and reveals the kinds of insidious power dynamics that may keep women out of positions that they have earned through the quality of their work.

Pay for Promotions Must Be Equal

Even if a woman earns a promotion, we must consider how much she is being paid for her work. As noted above, pay disparities are the most common form of gender-based discrimination according to the Pew study from December 2017. If a woman is not receiving equal pay for equal work, their employer must be held legally responsible for engaging in gender discrimination.

Learn More About Gender Discrimination Litigation

For more information about your legal rights and protections, it’s important that you contact an experienced employment law attorney. We at ThybergLaw are here to help you in your time of legal need.

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