4 ways in which women are still discriminated against at work
With the #MeToo movement sparking worldwide debates across all industries, it comes as no surprise that around 60% of women in the Philippines say they have been discriminated against at work because of their gender, as per a recent survey by Monster.com investigating gender inequality in the workplace.
While unequal pay and sexual harassment are only the tip of the iceberg, there are many other ways in which women are being disadvantaged or discredited on a professional level. Since shedding light on these injustices is a first step towards making them part of the past, here are some of the most common ways in which women are still discriminated at work.
1. Being Labeled too emotional to be assertive
“Emotional” one of the most commonly used descriptive stereotypes given to women, and according to the survey by Monster.com, 21% of female respondents indicated the label 'too emotional to be assertive' had been applied to them.. Managers that don’t assess their employees thoroughly enough will often resort to stereotypical labels such as “sensitive,” “warm” and “emotional’ for women or “objective,” “rational’ and “decisive” for men.
However, as both genders are equally competent, the consequences for managers drawing on these descriptive bias can be severe for companies, missing out on half of its talent resource.
2. Being considered not self-driven
20% of surveyed women responded they have been subjected to the bias of being not considered independent or self-driven enough. As a study by McKinsey has shown, the truth is that women in leadership positions actually display a better collaborative behavior than men, but that this attitude can be misinterpreted as being deferential or indecisive based solely on gender. The study concluded that women don’t lack drive, but that their ambition may appear more superficial in comparison with male corporate culture. In essence, is an easy label to attribute to someone you don’t want to succeed.
3. Not being taken seriously
Despite more and more women working in traditionally male-dominated environments such as finance and IT, they are often still not taken seriously. According to the survey by Monster.com, 19% of women stated they have experienced being discredited due to their gender in their career.
While protest and outrage may seem a natural first reaction, it's important to always act appropriately and fairly towards others, despite the apparent discrimination. Try to identify why your boss doesn’t give you the credit you deserve. It’s ok to be firm when presenting your ideas if that’s what is needed to get your point across.
4. Being questioned about family planning
While most HR managers respect that a person's relationship status and their family planning are private issues, these questions are still being asked in job interviews; a shocking 18% of women stated that they had been asked about their desire to have children in the near future.
If you are ever being questioned about your family planning, it's best to steer the conversation back to job-related topics, as companies are asking to get a better understanding of your long-term commitment to the job. Your interest in a career with the company should be more than enough to convince the interviewee of your sincere intentions. Balancing family and career isn't easy, but your intention to handle both shouldn't reduce your chances of getting the job.