Many times, it often seems like the more technical and high-paying a job is, the harder it is for women or other minorities to break into that field. While groups that have historically experienced discrimination have made massive strides toward better representation in many parts of the economy, they still struggle to find adequate representation at the highest levels in many industries.
Those fields can include information technology, engineering, science, medicine and other highly educated career paths. Even women who work as highly paid attorneys can experience discrimination in their work. For the women trying to break down the barriers in these fields, it is often difficult to move forward after an experience of discrimination.
Fighting back is one of the best ways to hold a company accountable and change a culture that prioritizes gender over competence. There have been new laws and court rulings that protect the rights of women from discrimination in the workplace.
Discrimination is more than not hiring certain people
Too many people seem to think that if women or other minorities work in a business, that is evidence of a lack of discrimination. In reality, just hiring somebody for entry-level or mid-level positions does not mean that your company isn't discriminating. You also need to look at retention rates, promotions, what wages people receive and other important factors like job satisfaction.
Many times, when you look closely, you will find that women or other groups are not well represented in leadership positions. While they may exist on many of the smaller teams in a company, they are often not the ones running the show.
A lack of current female leadership and no visible upward mobility for existing female team members could be a sign of systemic gender discrimination at your place of employment. So is a gap between what male and female workers make in similar positions.
Standing up for yourself means standing up for everyone
Many people will tolerate abuses toward themselves that they would not allow a loved one or friend to go through. You may think that you can put up with your employer's lack of accommodations or hostile attitude toward women. However, every time you accept mistreatment or less pay than the men on your team who do a similar job, it can impact all the other women who work there or will work there in the future.
Choosing to hold your employer accountable for gender discrimination and bias in employment, promotion and pay practices helps all women who may work for the company eventually. While you may not want to rock the boat, consider how many others will need to suffer the same mistreatment that you are before something finally changes. Many times, it is something financial that convinces a company to finally change bad policies.