A staggering number of people believe that gender-based discrimination in the workplace is a thing of the past. While it’s true that women have made tremendous strides towards professional equality over the past few decades, gender discrimination remains a prevalent problem in most work environments. It’s easy for those who haven’t experienced such discrimination firsthand to write it off as a minor or nonexistent issue, but as many career women can confirm, it’s far more common than most people think. Below are three of the many hardships women face in the workplace on a daily basis.
1. Boldness is Regarded as Cattiness
When men are bold and forceful in the workplace, their behavior is interpreted as strong and dynamic. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for women who are outspoken and results-driven. In the case of the fairer sex, this type of attitude is often seen as catty and unbecoming. In order to command the same type of respect as their male peers, women are forced to walk an impossibly thin tightrope. To get their ideas across, they have to come across as forceful – but not too forceful, lest their peers be put off. Anyone looking to understand more about the unreasonable expectations placed on working women is urged to visit Ms. Career Girl.
2. Warmth is Regarded as Weakness
In many work environments, women can’t win for losing. Case in point: although showing strength is seen as catty, adopting a warm, caring demeanor is seen as weak. This means women often have to think twice before showing sympathy or concern for their peers. However, failure to express warmth in the appropriate situations is likely to get them labeled as “ice queens.”
3. They Can’t Be Too Ambitious
When men openly express a desire to get ahead in the workplace, it’s viewed as inspirational. On the flipside, when a woman expresses the same desire, she’s often seen as opportunistic and/or conniving. This type of reaction implies that women should “know their place” and have the decency to remain humble.
Over the past few decades, massive inroads have been made for women in the professional sphere. However, this doesn’t mean that gender discrimination in the workplace is a thing of the past. Each day, women face a wide range of hardships in a considerable number of work environments. Understanding these hardships and how they’re propagated is the first step to stamping them out.