3 Examples of Workplace Gender Discrimination

Workplace gender discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated differently or less favorably because of their sex or gender or because they are affilated with an organization or group that is associated with a particular sex or gender.

Work discrimination can also happen due to someone’s race or ethnicity.

Some examples of work gender discrimination include:

1. Being held to a different standard

You can be held to a lower or higher standard or evaluated more harshly because of your sex or because you don’t act or present yourself in a way that conforms to traditional ideas of feminity or masculinity.

  • An example being, if a worker who identifies as a woman receives a negative performance review which criticizes her for being too “aggressive” while men in her department who behave the same way are praised for showing “leadership.”
  • Another one would be if a woman wears short clothing and is told she needs to be more “presentable” or “feminine.” This is gender discriminiation based on sex stereotypes.

Being paid less

If you are paid less than a person of a different sex who is similarly or less qualified than you or who has similar or fewer job duties than you, than you are being discriminated against due to gender.

  • If you believe you are being paid less than someone of a different sex to do the same job or similar work, you can research how to rectify it with a pay equity audit.
  • Make sure you read through your company policy and gather relevant documents as well as report the pay difference to your boss or HR.

Being written up

Being written up for a poor performance or infraction is allowed, however, being written up or disciplined for something that other employees of a different sex do all the time but don’t get punished for is gender discrimination.

  • An example would be if a woman was written up for not meeting the dress code by not wearing heels, a dress, and pantyhose.
  • At the same time, maybe the men do not have a dress code because it is assumed they all wear khakis and button-down shirts.
  • The notion that women should adhere to fashion standards is discrimination since they can be professional without dresses or pantyhose just as men can be professional without a tie or coat.