Although it might not be a widespread, common problem, gender discrimination in the workplace is real. Nearly 10% of men report that they have once felt they were denied a role because of their gender and 15% of women share this sentiment. When faced with what you perceive to be this type of scenario, it can be both frustrating and confusing.
What Is Gender Discrimination?
It's important to understand what exactly gender discrimination is. Gender discrimination is more than the perception that someone doesn't like you simply because of your gender. It is instead the intentional actions of someone against you solely because you are a man or woman. For example, for a female in the workplace, this discrimination can include a denial to extend health benefits to her male spouse, while all the male employees are extended this benefit to their female spouses.
It can also serve as an unfair job classification, such as someone being required to perform as a manager, but not offered the official title, while someone of the opposite sex is labeled as a manager. Reduced pay and an unwillingness to give the position can also fall under the reign of gender discrimination.
Proving Gender Discrimination
Once you have identified gender discrimination, the task comes down to proving it, as it's not enough to simply make the claim. In a fairy-tale world, you could get a manager or other upper level employee to go on record and state that you were in fact discriminated against because of your gender. However, these claims are generally proven based on circumstantial evidence, which basically relies on a series of facts that can somehow be connected to your claim.
To put this into perspective, consider a male who believes he was denied a promotion simply because of his gender. In this case, circumstantial evidence would be proof that he was more qualified than the female who was actually awarded the role. For example, if he had more education, more time on the job, and better performance reviews, he would undoubtedly be the better candidate if they were compared side by side. He can then use this information as circumstantial evidence.
Although the above-mentioned represents possible scenarios, gender discrimination can look very different from workplace to workplace and person to person. For this reason, it is important that you rely on the expertise of an attorney to help analyze your case and help you formulate the best course of action.