Women in tech have always faced greater challenges than their male counterparts in establishing themselves in the industry. They’ve already made a number of changes to the system, including graduating from prestigious institutions, mastering code and even becoming more assertive. Yet, the industry still favors men for promotions.
Only 52 women out of every 100 men ever achieve career success
Gender bias and discrimination have long been barriers for women to achieve career growth, especially in a male-dominated industry like tech. Despite developments in society, a report shows that only 52 women for every 100 men are ever promoted to manager.
Although an increasing number of companies are implementing anti-discrimination policies, there are still a number of employers where gender bias is still common, just in more subtle forms. Unfortunately, research suggests that while gender discrimination has grown less obvious, it has become more harmful and harder to address.
Subtle forms of gender discrimination
In order to fight for their rights and promotion, it is important for employees to be able to recognize these behaviors, especially now that they are more subtle.
Among the silent battles women face at work are:
- Receiving unequal treatment: Women report receiving various forms of unequal treatment including lower wages, being ignored in meetings or receiving assignments to less challenging work.
- Being excluded: Networking and professional advancement sometimes hinge on attending important social events and meetings. Still, women experience being left out of lunches, activities or other crucial events.
- Experiencing microaggressions: These are hostile or offensive actions and behaviors aimed at a specific group of people, such as women. However, it is not always intentional or crude. Some examples of this behavior include men who use sexist language, congratulate women for having skills and knowledge they believe are only for men or expect their female coworkers to conform to traditional gender roles.
What can be done?
An employee who has been denied promotion may be able to look into their personnel file and determine if their performance was a factor in the rejection. If they believe that prejudice played a role, they have the option to lodge a complaint with the relevant government agency. With sufficient proof, they might be able to sue their employer for discrimination.
Women should be able to go to work without fear of harassment or discrimination. Nevertheless, overcoming prejudice in a hostile work environment will not be an easy task. Workers can better prepare themselves for this fight if they are aware of their right to report discrimination and their legal protections against retaliation.