It's 2018. In theory, men and women should get equal treatment at work. Gender discrimination is illegal. Employers must treat everyone fairly and be respectful at every turn.
In reality, this does not always happen. Maybe you have seen it at your work. Despite two decades of employment, you never feel equal to your coworkers. You never feel like you have all of the same opportunities. You always feel like people take your gender into account, rather than looking at you as another employee.
It's frustrating and it's potentially illegal. As you try to determine what next steps to take, consider these examples of possible gender discrimination in the workplace:
1. Another worker gets a promotion despite inferior qualifications
For instance, perhaps you're a woman with 20 years of experience and a high-level degree on your resume. That promotion should go to you, and everyone knows it. Instead, your boss gives it to a male employee with a lesser degree and just five years of experience. No matter what excuses they give you, you feel sure they picked him because he is a man and they passed you over because you're a woman.
2. You don't earn as much as male employees
You and another male employee do the exact same job. You have equal experience, you have the same training and you have the same daily responsibilities. You have the same amount of employees under you. While that specific employee treats you very well, you feel shocked to learn that he makes $25,000 per year more than you do.
3. You get denied for time off
Every Christmas, you try to take some time off to go visit your extended family. They don't live in California, so it's quite a trip. Every year, they tell you that they just cannot give you that much time off at such a busy time for the company. However, when a male employee asks for the same time off, he gets it the first time around.
4. Your career stops advancing when you have kids
For more than a decade, you marched your way up the corporate ladder. People knew you were driven, experienced and effective. However, that all changed when you became pregnant and started a family. Suddenly, the promotions stopped. You didn't get another raise. Other workers started passing you by. You could tell that they thought your pregnancies and your children meant you no longer cared about your career.
One thing that is important to note, as you look at these examples, is that men and women can both face gender discrimination. When it happens, they need to know what legal options they have.