What Women Just Entering the Workforce Need to Know
Women have spent years fighting for equal treatment in the workplace, and the struggle continues. While there have been laws put in place to prevent blatant discrimination, women still have to deal with prejudices in the workplace. If you’re a woman who’s new to the workforce, here’s what you need to know.
Know Your Worth
Your womanhood is an asset, not a liability. When you’re in the workplace, you deserve to get respect for your perspective and your experience. It’s one thing to disagree with someone. It’s another to shut them down on the basis of their gender. While people will deny doing this, you can point out discrepancies in their treatment of you compared to those of a male coworker. It could also be that they discriminate against you for reasons that include your gender but also things like your age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Don’t let yourself be pressured into believing you’ve completely read a situation wrong. People who do inappropriate things are going to be the last to admit to them, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them manipulate you.
Having your guard up as a woman in the workplace doesn’t mean you’re paranoid. It just means that you are aware of the kinds of problems that can occur. You could be discriminated against in the form of sexual advances or not being given the same pay for the same work. However, it’s important to know that there are resources that should be available to you. According to Cagle Law, employers should provide employees with everything they need to remain safe during all their work tasks. If unwanted attention crosses the line, you need to know what to do and how to react. It’s hard enough to feel empowered without people stepping all over you. Take people to task when they try to take advantage of you. It might also warrant going to your company’s human resources department to file a complaint. Depending on what happens and how it’s addressed, you may have to bring it to the attention of an employment or anti-discrimination attorney.
Support Each Other
Blowing the whistle on discrimination in the workplace can be hard to do. However, there could be other women in your workplace who are suffering. As Chronus suggests, you need to support one another and not feel like you have to go along with any sort of abuse just because it seems to be expected. If another woman brings up issues she has, don’t try to downplay it, even if she’s citing harassment from someone you get along with. Everyone has different experiences in the workplace, and no one should be made to feel like their accounts are invalid.
The advances that women have made in the workplace are great, but they shouldn’t be taken for granted. You should never be complacent or made to feel like you have to accept mediocre or unfair treatment. The more women are able to stand up for themselves in the workplace, the more strides can be made.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Run a One-Woman HR Department for a Small Business