Gender Discrimination Overview

Gender discrimination, or sexism, is the belief that one sex is superior to the other sex and it can refer to the hatred of or distrust towards either sex as a whole or the application of stereotypes of masculinity in relation to men, or of femininity in relation to women. Gender discrimination is also sometimes referred to as male or female chauvinism. Throughout the history of the world, feminism has been used to achieve greater gender equality. gender discrimination work doesn’t just occur against women but also men. male discrimination and female discrimination can occur in the workplace, in the academic world, and in hundreds of other professions. The majority of gender discrimination cases that occur happen between men and women and rarely two people of the same sex. Gender discrimination does not come with legal ramifications unless the discrimination prevents a person from obtaining education that they are legally allowed to obtain or from being hired for a certain job. When gender discrimination occurs in the workplace or in the world of education, legal ramifications can follow, such as fines and court cases. Anyone can file a gender discrimination charge against a co-worker, an employer, a teacher or a classmate if in fact they have been discriminated against because of their gender.

If you feel you have been discriminated against or have questions about discrimination, contact a lawyer who can help.

Gender discrimination can occur in the workplace or in education in one or more of the following ways:

  • Discriminatory questions are asked at a job interview
  • An employer did not hire a prospective employee because of their gender
  • An employee was not promoted
  • An employee was wrongfully terminated because of their gender
  • Employers pay unequally based on the gender of their employees
  • A student was not accepted to a specific institution of learning because of his or her gender
  • A student was denied access to a certain program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship due to his or her gender
  • A person could also be denied housing or a loan or mortgage because of his or her gender in the real estate world

Occupational sexism and sexual harassment also fall under the jurisdiction of gender and sex discrimination. Occupational sexism is defined as any discriminatory practices, statements, or actions based on a person’s sex that are present or occur in a place of employment. The majority of occupational sex discrimination cases occurs between men and women and the actions are taken by men against women. Occupational sexism can include wage discrimination, systematic sex-based hiring and promotion practices, sexual harassment and the belief that certain jobs are considered ‘women’s work’ because they pay low wages or are degrading.

A common term that is associated with gender discrimination is “glass ceiling.” Glass ceiling is defined as a perceived barrier to advancement in employment and government based on sex and discrimination, especially sex discrimination. The United States has a Glass Ceiling Commission that is a government funded group. It released a report recently that states "Over half of all Master’s degrees are now awarded to women, yet 95% of senior-level managers, of the top Fortune 1000 industrial and 500 service companies are men. Of them, 97% are white." The report also suggests that employers should use reverse discrimination to make hiring and promotion decisions as a means to end this form of discrimination. Reverse discrimination is the process of using sex and race in determining who to hire or promote.

If you feel you have been discriminated against or have questions about discrimination, contact a lawyer who can help.