A recent report in Fortune notes that gender discrimination continues to pose a problem, particularly for women in high end tech jobs.
A new study published by Fortune found that gender discrimination continues to be a problem in the workplace. More specifically, the study found high-achieving women in the tech industry were experiencing acts of gender discrimination during performance reviews.
The acts were not blatant forms of gender discrimination, but damaging nevertheless. The discrimination was present in the language used to describe employees and their attributes in reviews.
More on the study
The study was conducted by a reporter who gathered 248 performance reviews from 28 different companies that ranged in scale from large to small work environments. The reviews included 105 men and 75 women. The study focused on critical feedback and found that 71 percent of the reviews contained critical feedback. However, the distribution was not even between the sexes. Almost 90 percent of the women reviewed received criticism while only 58.9 percent of the men did.
The piece included an example involving a manager preparing reviews for his team. The manager had male and female candidates that were both eligible for promotion, but voiced concerns that the female candidate was too abrasive. When describing similar attributes in the male candidate, the manager noted the male counterpart needed to work on patience, "but who doesn't?"
Gender discrimination continues to pose problems within the workplace
If both candidates are qualified for the promotion, as noted above, distinguishing a female's willingness to actively pursue projects as abrasive and a male's as a simple need to work on patience could qualify as gender discrimination - particularly if the male receives a promotion and the female does not. It is illegal to discriminate at any level of employment. This includes consideration for promotions as well as hiring, firing, training and fringe benefits. The Equal Pay Act also requires that men and women in the workplace receive equal compensation for equal work. The type of work done, not the title, is used to determine if the positions are substantially equal.
The tech entrepreneur who conducted the study above used the data to call for additional investigation by human resource departments and managers. Instead of just reviewing scores and looking for patterns of discrimination, it may be wise to review the actual language used in these reviews.
Legal counsel can help
In situations where male and female employees are treated unequally, discrimination is present. Providing different opportunities for promotion or higher salaries based on gender is illegal.
If you believe that you were bypassed for a promotion or are treated differently in your job due to your gender, you may be the victim of discrimination. Contact an experienced sex and gender discrimination lawyer to discuss your case and help better ensure your rights and any potential for legal remedies are protected.