Do you feel like your workplace is essentially a boys' club? It is illegal for your workplace to discriminate against you based solely upon the fact that you are a woman. But proving gender discrimination is easier said than done. If you believe you are in a situation at work that you can no longer abide, here are some tips that might help you get control of the situation:
Strength in Numbers
Are you the only woman at the office or are there other female co-workers there? If so, consider talking to some of them about the situation. Has anyone else noticed what has been going on? Each individual has the right to speak up but the message might be more powerful if you all speak up at once. Let your boss know you are not okay with the current culture in the office and ask for changes. There is at least a small chance that your employer did not know what they were doing was wrong and might be genuinely interested in creating a more welcoming environment.
If Speaking Up Doesn't Work, Start Documenting
You need to state your objections to the current situation and then see how your employer responds. If there are continued incidents where you are harassed or otherwise put into a undesirable situation because your gender, start writing down the time and place where this has happened, who you were talking to at the time, and the names of any other people in the room who may have seen the interaction. If the problem is affecting all women in the workplace, encourage your co-workers to do the same.
Contact a Law Firm
You will then have documentation that you can take to your company's HR wing, assuming they have one. But also keep in mind that human resources employees are often interested in protecting the company just as much as they are in fixing the situation for you. It could be best to have a lawyer do the talking for you. Once your boss or someone in HR gets a phone call or letter from an attorney, they will hopefully realize how serious the situation is. If things are not resolved to your satisfaction, having a lawyer may allow you to move forward with your case.
Gender discrimination should not but does happen. If it happens to you in the workplace, state your objection and then document. Contact an attorney that works gender discrimination law today for more information.
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