Throughout America and many other parts of the developed world, women are speaking out against discrimination in many different work environments. Frustratingly, some fields of work appear to feature much more frequent instances of discrimination than others, specifically for those who work science, technology, engineering or mathematics, known as STEM fields.
According to numerous reports in the last several months, women who work in STEM fields may face significantly more discrimination in the workplace than those who choose to pursue jobs in areas more traditionally inclusive of women. It is certainly disappointing to learn that many of the fields that we as a society deem some of the most important and valuable are mired in gender discrimination.
If you believe that you face gender discrimination in the workplace, whether you work in a STEM field or somewhere else, you may want to discuss your experience with an established employment law attorney. When you choose to stand up for your rights in the workplace, you not only create a more just, fair work environment for yourself, you also protect the rights of many others who may face similar struggles.
High rates of discrimination
Not all STEM fields are male-dominated, so women who choose to enter female-dominated fields like dental hygiene or nursing may not face the same levels of discrimination as those who enter fields like research science or engineering.
Among women who work in STEM fields where most of the coworkers are men, nearly half of them report experiencing some harassment. Of the same group, about 78 percent also reported experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace.
Struggling to advance in the workplace
A huge portion of the frustration experienced by many women who work in STEM fields has to do with struggling to advance or gain fair recognition in the workplace. Often, women report that their male colleagues underestimate their skills or pass them over for promotions or recognition for good work.
Some women report colleagues assuming that they are not actually in the same position simply because they are female. This might take the form of a colleague assuming a woman in the office is a secretary instead of a fellow engineer, for instance.
Discrimination based on gender is not always about sexually inappropriate behavior. In some cases, gender discrimination involves women failing to receive fair promotions and privileges at work, or receiving unfair assignments.
Pushing back and fighting for justice
You may also find that you face this kind of discrimination in the workplace, especially if you work in a STEM job. Do not hesitate to gather your resources and fight for fair treatment in the workplace. You could have an important opportunity to affect change in a workplace that very much needs it.