Gender Discrimination at Work
Workplace gender discrimination comes in many different forms, but generally, it means that an employee or a job applicant is treated differently or less favourably because of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Even though the words “sex” and “gender” have different meanings, laws against discrimination at work often use them interchangeably.
Sometimes workers experience discrimination because of their gender and something else, like their race or ethnicity. For example, a woman of colour may experience discrimination in the workplace differently from a white female co-worker. She may be harassed, paid less, evaluated more harshly, or passed over for promotion because of the combination of her gender and her race.
Some examples of treatment that could be gender discrimination include:
not being hired, or being given a lower-paying position because of your gender identity or sexual orientation (for example, when an employer refuses to hire women, or only hires women for certain jobs)
being held to different or higher standards, or being evaluated more harshly, because of your gender identity, or because you don’t act or present yourself in a way that conforms to traditional ideas of femininity or masculinity
For example, if a worker who identifies as a woman receives a negative performance evaluation that criticizes her for being too “aggressive” (while men who behave the same way are praised for showing “leadership”), or if she wears her hair short and is told she needs to be more “presentable,” she may be experiencing discrimination based on gender stereotypes, which is a form of gender discrimination.
being paid less than a person of a different gender or sexual orientation who is similarly or less qualified than you, or who has similar (or fewer) job duties than you