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California Employment Lawyers > Blog > Employment > 6 Unexpected Ways Gender Discrimination Affects Women In The Workplace

6 Unexpected Ways Gender Discrimination Affects Women In The Workplace


Gender discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee receives negative or disparate treatment due to their gender. Gender discrimination, as well as all discrimination on the basis of a protected status, is prohibited in the United States under federal law; specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 However, how it is interpreted and applied from state to state can vary. Unfortunately, it’s still far too common, with the majority of female employees stating that they have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination at least one point throughout their career. When something becomes so normalized, it can be easy to forget that the consequences can still be very damaging and far-reaching. Below, we’ve provided an overview of some of the often overlooked ways that gender discrimination affects women in the workplace. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to provide some insight into how gender discrimination can affect employees in ways that go far beyond an uncomfortable joke or a few moments of discomfort. If you believe you are experiencing workplace harassment on the basis of your gender, call the Costanzo Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

  1. Decreased productivity. When someone doesn’t feel safe in the workplace, they may find themselves having to exist in a state of hyper-vigilance, constantly on defense against unwanted advances or hostile comments. The mental toll of this can become incredibly draining, and results in less energy being available to focus on the tasks at hand.
  2. Reduced Self-Esteem. When you have to spend the majority of every day in a toxic environment, it can have a long-reaching impact on your self-esteem. Even when an environment isn’t outwardly hostile, the effect of having your ideas constantly dismissed, being talked over in meetings, and being passed over for promotions can of course be greatly discouraging and have a detrimental impact on an employee’s mental health and confidence overall.
  3. Isolation and Depression. Having to isolate from supervisors and co-workers in the office as a form of self-preservation can start to trickle over into your entire life. When each day is spent thinking/ that you are not safe or valued, you start to believe that is true in all areas of your life and pull back.
  4. Substance Abuse. Many individuals who feel the treatment they are experiencing at work is inescapable due to their reliance on their paycheck turn to substance abuse as a way of numbing the pain and discomfort while being able to maintain and endure illegal treatment at their job.
  5. Pregnancy Complications. The stress of working in a hostile work environment while pregnant and not receiving the appropriate accommodations and support can have a negative medical impact on a pregnancy for employees.
  6. Physical symptoms. Physical symptoms such as migraines, tension headaches, muscle tension, stomach and GI issues, anxiety/panic attacks, and other stress-induced conditions can develop as a result of exposure to a hostile environment.

As you can see, gender-based discrimination in the workplace can have detrimental and far-reaching effects for women-identifying employees. The longer employees are exposed to these conditions, the worse the outcomes can be, so it’s best to document everything and seek legal help as soon as possible.

Talk to a San Jose Employment Law Lawyer

If you are suffering due to gender-based discrimination or harassment at your workplace, the experienced San Jose employment lawyers at the Costanzo Law Firm are here to help. Call today, to schedule your free personalized consultation.

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