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Discrimination in the workplace, be it to do with gender, religion, race or sexuality, is no joke and isn’t something that should never be handled lightly. For years, women in the workplace have been subjected to varying forms of discrimination by their peers and superiors.

Discrimination can range from losing out of a promotion, an unfair gender pay gap, exclusion from an important project, or at it’s worst – sexual assault. Despite how small or insignificant you may feel the discrimination towards you is, if it is affecting your quality of life in any way then you should seek to sort it out. There are laws place to ensure your happiness and safety in the workplace, and to stop exactly this kind of discrimination taking place.   

How are Women Still Discriminated Against in the Workplace?

Sexual harassment is, sadly, still common within the workplace. Often played down as a ‘joke’, women are being made to feel uncomfortable day after day, for fear that a reaction will result in them being laughed at or not taken seriously.

Women are judged on their physical looks and what they wear considerably more frequently than are their male counterparts. Women are not only discriminated against for being “pretty” or “attractive”, but they can also be victimised for not being attractive enough, or in some positions, for not being “sexy” enough.

The “glass ceiling”, is a term which refers to the prevention of women from being able to become as successful or senior as their male co-workers, which derives from the sexist and archaic ideology that women should be secretaries, stay at home mums and men should be the main “bread winners”.

In 2017, we would home that such an ideology should be long dead and buried, but old habits die hard and there is still discriminatory behaviour present towards women.

Women of “child making age” also often lose out on huge promotions to their male peers, because of the cost to the employer should they fall pregnant. A lot of women are aware that they are being treated this way, but feel they can’t do anything about. After all, how will they prove it?

Sometimes discrimination is a systemic problem, meant to either stifle your professional worth or at least make you keep quiet about what is going on. On other occasions, it is one senior person acting upon their personal prejudices and values. In either case, there are employment lawyers that can to ensure that all women’s, and people’s, voices are heard and that any discriminatory behaviour is quashed.

Talk to Somebody You Trust:

If you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, the thing to do is to speak to somebody that you trust. Even if it’s a friend, partner or family member – they will be able to offer a fresh perspective and give you guidance.

Decide How to Approach the Problem:

Once you have been given some advice on how to handle the situation. You can…

Handle it Personally:

Being up front in a discriminatory situation can often have a really positive outcome. People who are acting in a discriminatory way sometimes just need the severity of the situation to be put into perspective in order for there to be any form of resolution. They may not realise the effect it is having on you or how it makes you feel. This is, of course, no excuse, but it can resolve the issue.

Speak to a Lawyer:

You should look at your company’s anti-discriminatory policy and see if it highlights any of the behaviour you are experiencing.

Try and reach out to a senior member of the management team and tell them about what is happening. This can then either be resolved through them personally or will result in further legal action, either in a court or through a legal settlement.

The first thing that an employment lawyer will advise you to do is to document every action that you deem to be offensive or discriminatory. This may be in the form of a simple diary, which provides a means for you to clearly index and to refer back to.

Discrimination in the workplace is something that needs to be quashed. If you believe that you are being victimised, then it is important to take action and improve your work life.