Gender discrimination in the workplace is not a new topic. What is new is that more and more people are talking about it.
These days it seems that the news cycle is filled with stories about gender discrimination in the workplace. From issues with pay and promotion to sexual harassment, the problems are spread across the world. A women editor at BBC China revealed in an open letter that she would be leaving the global media giant after 30 years after learning of a clandestine subculture of pay by gender in which with women were paid significantly less than their male counterparts. In the U.S., Google has come under fire for their gender-discriminative tiered system of pay. Those allegations have now spread to Google’s childcare program. A new lawsuit filed by a former female teacher in the program alleges that female teachers were being paid less than their male counterparts.
These recent examples of gender discrimination in the workplace are supported by a recent study from Pew Research Center that helps highlight the scope of the problem.
The study, based on a survey that polled 4,914 adults last summer, discusses the various forms of gender discrimination that women experience in the workplace. Here are some results:
- 42% of women surveyed said they have experienced job discrimination because of their gender compared to 22% of men.
- 25% of women surveyed said their income is less than a man’s for doing the same job. That is compared to 5% of men who said they earn less than a female peer.
- 15% of women felt they received less supported from senior leaders compared to 7% of men.
- 23% of women said they were treated as if they were not competent while on the job compared to 6% of men.
- 10% of women felt they were overlooked when it came to higher priority work assignments compared to 5% of men.
Interestingly, feelings of gender discrimination among women increased with their level of education. Women with a bachelor’s degree or higher reported experiencing discrimination at significantly higher rates than women with less education: 57% of working women with a postgraduate degree said they had experienced some form of gender discrimination at work, compared to 40% of women with a bachelor’s degree and 39% of those who did not complete college.
As for the elephant in the room, the Pew survey did ask a question about sexual harassment in the workplace. The survey found that while similar shares of women and men say sexual harassment is at least a small problem in their workplace (36% versus 35%), women are about three times as likely as men to have experienced it personally while at work (22% versus 7%).
While women are becoming more vocal about workplace discrimination—and laws are coming into place protecting their rights—the progress needs to be faster.
To read about the Pew study, click here.
To learn more about achieving pay equity, click here.