The Invisible Types of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace and How to Address Them

By Yue Li, M.S., Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology, Indiana University

When we talk about sexism and gender discrimination in the workplace, many of us may first think of compelling evidence such as the gender wage gap and the strikingly and disproportionately low percentage of women CEOs in the S&P 500 companies. Yes, it is old news that American women only make about 80 cents for every dollar that men make, and the situation has remained unchanged in the recent decade based on data from OECD in 20171(See Figure 1.). A report published in 2019 by the Catalyst Organisation2 continues to find that, while about 45% of the employees in S&P 500 companies are women, only 21.2% of the board members, 11% of the top earners, and 5.2% of the CEOs are women2 (See Figure 2).

However, the whole picture of workplace discrimination and sexism expands beyond the readily quantifiable measures such as salary and occupancy of leadership positions. Underneath these more than disappointing numbers, what is perpetuating the discriminatory practices based on gender at workplace? How is everyday sexism such as gender microaggressions experienced by average working women? How might employers and managers create a greater sense of organizational justice among workers of all genders and therefore a more affirming, growth-inducing, and innovative business? Political and social psychologists Sidanius and Pratto used their social dominance theory3 to illustrate oppressive experiences at the personal, intergroup, and system-wide level, which offers an excellent roadmap to understanding gender discrimination at work.

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The Workplace Impact of Sexual Harassment and Assault on Women

The Workplace Impact of Sexual Harassment and Assault on Women: Research Findings

In the past year, Dr. Patricia Arredondo has posted several blogs on the topics of Gender Microaggressions at Work: The Visible and Invisible (July 2018) Bullying in the Workplace (August 2018) and Historic Pervasiveness of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (November 2017). These blogs describe the microinsults that occur and the sense of disrespect experienced by the targets of bullying, sexual harassment, and “everyday microaggressions”. This month’s blog builds on contemporary sociocultural realities that affect individuals in the workplace.

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Women's History Month

Nevertheless, She Persisted—Women Entrepreneurs

“In the future, there will be no women leaders – there will just be leaders”

Last year for Women’s history month, we highlighted women’s contributions as employees, students, consumers, leaders of social causes, and family members. This year we focus on women’s resilience and continued growth as business leaders and entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on the tremendous contributions of Women of Color.

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Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke, Founder of #metoo – a Movement for Empathy and Empowerment

TIME magazine recognized the Silence Breakers for their forthcoming statements about sexual harassment in their work settings. All entertainers and high-profile women have advocated by raising their collective voices for the benefit not only of themselves but of other women and girls. But more than 10 years ago, Tarana Burke, began the social movement with women of color in the South and other major cities. An African American woman, she knew at the time that she was not alone in her experiences of sexual harassment and began to reach out, particularly to other women of color. Today, she continues her advocacy at a grass roots level, engaging women often left in silence.

In the November AAG newsletter, we noted that, surveys report that roughly 25% of all women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace [1]. Perhaps the statistics of non-celebrities were buried in the article because colleagues asked me about how sexual harassment affected women of color and blue-collar women. So that these facts are not overlooked, we have decided to restate the data this month.

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Women as a Powerful Economic Force

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission (Eleanor Roosevelt), continues to be a statement to women about our personal empowerment and self-efficacy. In March 2017 Women’s History Month also included the International Day of the Woman, reminding us of the global solidarity among women across the world and from all walks of life.

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