If you're like most working women, you're probably glad that society has evolved beyond overt sexism displayed on a regular basis toward women in offices and other workplaces — however, there are times you get an uneasy feeling that you can't quite pin down. Do you often find yourself feeling depressed and discouraged because of your job but can't really put your finger on any specific reason or set of reasons? If so, you definitely aren't alone, and the root cause may be gender discrimination.
You probably associate gender discrimination with blatant displays of sexism and aggressive toward women in the workplace. Although those scenarios still exist, unfortunately, in many cases, today's gender discrimination is more subtle. At times, it can be so subtle that it's difficult to discern that it's happening at all. Following are two subtle signs of gender discrimination that you should know about.
You're Being Ignored
Some women find that their suggestions and other input are routinely ignored during meetings, brainstorming sessions, and even casual conversations concerning work strategies. This becomes evident when you make a pertinent point during these discussions that go unacknowledged, but when a male colleague makes the same point, it's met with recognition and acceptance. This scenario may even progress to one in which someone else is credited with your good idea.
Your Male Colleagues Gain More Career Traction Than You
If your male colleagues who started in entry level positions around the same time that you did and have similar educational backgrounds have routinely gained more traction in their careers than you have, that could be a sign that subtle gender discrimination is at play. However, it's important to keep in mind that that a pattern has to be a part of the picture before this can be considered discrimination. If one or two men are promoted ahead of you, that probably won't mean much. If nearly all men receive promotions ahead of you and nearly all of the other women, it's time to take your concerns to an attorney with experience in gender discrimination law.
Proving subtle gender discrimination almost always relies on being able to establish a pattern. For that reason, if you suspect that this might be behind any mysterious depression or discouragement you're experiencing that seems to be work-related, it's essential that you keep a daily log of possible discriminatory incidents, no matter how subtle. Talk to a lawyer in your area to find out more about gender discrimination law.