Though it has been fifty-seven years since the U.S. passed the Equal Pay Act, gender-based workplace discrimination is still a highly prevalent reality in the 21st century. Workplace gender discrimination comes in many varieties, but generally it refers to when an a job applicant or current employee is treated differently, paid less, and/or with less respect due to their sex or gender.

Types of Gender Discrimination

Examples of gender discrimination include:

  • Being paid a lower wage or a lower-paying position due to your gender (i.e. when an employer only hires women for specific jobs or refuses to hire women at all)
  • Being subjected to harsh criticism or being evaluated more severely due to your gender or because you do not present in a way that is considered traditionally feminine or masculine.
  • Being called derogatory slurs or names based on your gender, or hearing hostile comments about people of a certain sex or gender identity.
  • Receiving requests for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, physical and/or verbal sexual harassment
  • Being fired from a job or given fewer work assignments because you become pregnant.

Unintentional Discrimination

Important to emphasize is the fact that not all gender discrimination is explicit and/or intentional. Many situations of discrimination occur when a certain policy or practice at a place of employment, may not have been enacted as a way of keeping women excluded from certain jobs, but ends up creating that effect nonetheless. For instance, if you have been denied a promotion, paid less than your peers, or lost your job due to said policy/practice, you may be able to file a discrimination claim.

The Gender Pay Gap

Below is an interactive map that illustrated the ratio between men and women’s median annual earnings for full time workers. These figures were calculated based on 2018 American Community Survey Data.