Despite improvements, gender discrimination still a problem

Despite news of recent professional successes by women, the reality is that gender discrimination remains a serious problem in the U.S.

Over the past few years, women have continued to make great strides in the professional world. General Motors, for example, hired a woman as its chief executive officer and Hillary Clinton appears to be one of the current frontrunners for the 2016 presidential election. Although it would be tempting to see these developments as evidence that gender equality is becoming the norm in our society, studies show that gender discriminationin the workplace is still very much a serious problem.

Recently, researchers at Boston University and Brandeis University conducted a survey of studies regarding gender discrimination in the U.S. Their findings, published in the bookThe New Soft War on Women, demonstrate that discrimination against women is just as common now as it was decades ago. There is, however, one important difference: in today's workplace, it is often much more difficult to detect.

Although the book involved a great deal of original research, Rosalind Barnett and Caryl Rivers, the authors of The New Soft War, relied heavily on previous gender discrimination studies. Among the points cited in the book, some of the most important include:

  • According to a New York University study, leaders in the workplace are more likely to give men credit when working on a project that involves both male and female employees
  • While fathers are more likely to be promoted at work than childless men, the opposite is true with mothers, according to a Cornell University study

Perhaps the most important point is the role that perception plays in spotting gender discrimination: the more that women's business and political successes are discussed in the media, the easier it becomes for employers and women alike to believe that discrimination is a problem of the past. The danger, of course, is that everyone becomes complacent with the status quo and less likely to identify instances of discrimination.

While the U.S. has seen incredible changes to the workplace in recent years, the reality is that discrimination - whether it be due to gender, race, sexual orientation or any other reason - remains a significant problem. Fortunately, however, those who have been discriminated against by their employers do have legal rights. If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you, schedule a consultation with an experienced employment law attorney. An employment law attorney can explain your options and provide you with personalized advice. Speak to an employment law attorney today to learn more.

Keywords: Gender discrimination

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