Despite both changes in attitudes and legislation, gender discrimination remains a real problem in the American workplace. In science, technology, engineering and math fields, this type of discrimination is particularly pervasive. In fact, about half of the women in STEM jobs have experienced gender discrimination.
Some forms of gender discrimination are easy to identify. Refusing to hire women and terminating their employment based on their gender both fall into this category. Other types of discrimination are subtler, though. If you have a STEM career, you may have to deal with these three common ones.
1. Requiring workplace housework
Outdated stereotypes often take forever to die. If your employer requires you to make coffee, clean the breakroom, empty trashcans or perform other types of workplace housework, you may be the victim of gender discrimination. This is especially true if your male coworkers do not share the same duties.
2. Interrupting or talking over you
Whether you have frequent or rare meetings with your colleagues, you have valuable insights to add to group discussions. If your manager or male coworkers routinely interrupt you, talk over you or prevent you from discussing your ideas, they may be treating you differently because of your gender.
3. Expecting you to behave differently
Your male colleagues might have few restrictions on how they must behave at work. If your manager or coworkers expect you to behave differently or follow different rules, gender discrimination may be to blame.
You undoubtedly have invested a great deal of time, money and effort into becoming a STEM professional. Ultimately, you have a right to be free from both clear-cut and subtle discrimination in the workplace.