Study sheds light on gender-based workplace discrimination

Gender discrimination in the workplace remains a serious problem for women in California and around the country according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center. The poll of 4,914 American adults was taken in the summer of 2017, before several prominent politicians and entertainment industry figures were the subjects of highly-publicized allegations of sexual misconduct. More than four out of 10 of the women surveyed said that they had faced discrimination at work based on their gender, but this claim was only made by 22 percent of the men questioned.

The difference between the experiences of working men and women became more pronounced when the respondents were asked what type of job-related discrimination they had experienced. While only 5 percent of the men surveyed said that they had been paid less than a female peer, a quarter of the women polled said that men who performed similar tasks were paid more. Other questions yielded similar results. Almost a quarter of the working women polled, but only 6 percent of the men, said that they had been treated as less competent due to their gender.

The Pew study also reveals that working women are about twice as likely to say that they have been passed over for a promotion or important assignment because of their gender and three times as likely to say that they have been subjected to repeated slights by their colleagues. The answers given by women were also generally consistent despite wide differences in their ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Employees of California companies are protected against discrimination at their jobs by federal and state statutes, and attorneys with experience in this area may pursue civil remedies on their behalf when these laws are violated. Coworkers are often reluctant to step forward for fear of retaliation, and attorneys may urge the victims of workplace harassment or discrimination to gather as much information and evidence as they can before initiating legal proceedings.

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