Does it seem like no matter how good you are at your job that you still get overlooked when it comes time for a promotion? Are you starting to notice that it seems like the upper echelons of your employer's company are stacked exclusively with men?
It may be time to question whether or not your being treated fairly. Here's what you should consider.
Your employer may have a glass ceiling.
A "glass ceiling" is a type of artificial barrier used to keep women from moving into the best paid and most powerful positions within a company. Glass ceilings used to limit women from advancing up the corporate ladder are a form of gender discrimination and can give you cause for legal action.
Your employer may not even really be hiding it.
How can you really tell if your company has a glass ceiling that's all-but-impassable or it's something that you're doing wrong? Even though there's been a lot of progress in many corporate cultures toward gender equality, old habits can die hard — especially when those at the top of the corporate ranks are resistant to change.
Here are some of the tell-tale signs that your employer is still practicing gender discrimination:
- Male employees (but not the females) are invited to socialize with the bosses after work — which effectively deprives the female employees of a major opportunity to network.
- Corporate retreats are run like "boy's clubs" and women are generally discouraged from attending by being told that they probably "wouldn't enjoy it" or might find it too rowdy.
- You notice that female employees seem to be "Mommy tracked" the moment that they marry and start a family because it's assumed they can't devote enough energy toward work — but male employees who start families never have that issue.
- Women employees are promoted less often, receive less notice for their work, and are criticized more harshly than men for their mistakes.
Any of these situations is likely to be a type of gender discrimination against women that affects their ability to achieve a fair reward for their labors.
You may need legal help to fight back.
Even if all of the signs of a glass ceiling are there, it's never as simple as simply bringing the issue to the bosses' attention. When systemic discrimination against women is part of a company's culture, it won't change without a fight. Talk to a gender discrimination law attorney about how you can pursue a case against your employer.