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Readers Respond: Share Your Workplace Discrimination Stories

Responses: 7


Workplace discrimination is illegal according to Title VII, yet nearly every working woman has had an experience that involves sexual bias on the job, whether it was subtle or obvious. What have you faced as a woman? Share your stories of gender bias at work.

It Remains an Unfortunate Reality

Have any of you faced discrimination from your employees for being a woman? That's what I'm dealing with ... any time I have the audacity to address performance issues with certain staff they complain to my supervisors (males) and HR that I am 'picking on' and/or being "aggressive toward" them, even though they have no complaints about same issues being addressed with them by the male supervisors -- not even when the male supervisors are somewhat rude or condescending toward them in the process. I have asked HR to enforce the polices concerning making false allegations, but they sidestep it by saying that when these male employees file their complaints it's based on their 'perceptions' and not retaliatory or vindictive. The pattern is SO obvious, though! In the meantime I end up with "a history of complaints". I'm told this is not an adverse employment action so I can't get assistance from the EEOC. Guess I have to get fired for 'getting too many complaints' before I qualify for help.
—Guest JB

My female supervisor had sex with my man

Can someone help me with this? My husband was over helping my superviosr put up a shed, they began to drink and the next thing they are fooling around. My supervisor was also my best friend, like a sister I never have had. My supervisor's husband got involved and wanted him to take pictures of the two of them having sex. My husband took the picture and they tried to bring him into having a 3 some. He left the room at this time. He did tell me the truth several weeks later. I am now dead inside and I do not know what to do with him and her at work? As for a friend, that has ended, I do not speak to her and I have throwen everything she has given me away. But she is still my supervisor. The stress at work in unbearable. I use to sit next to her and I have moved to the other side of the office up I still have to report to her. I do not know what to do. I was told legally there is nothing I can do. Does anyone have some advise for me.
—Guest Jane

ariens employee

i had an accident when i was a child. someone recongized it and spread it all through the factory. i admitted what happened to me thinking the guy would shut up. but he made it worse by spreading it all through the factory. lots of supervisors knew about it but they did'nt do nothing. i could'nt take the harassement anymore so i walked out. now i have no job because
—Guest wanda

It Remains an Unfortunate Reality

It is unfortunate that employment discrimination remains a reality for women. However it has a new face. It is less acceptable to blatantly discriminate against women. I mentor women who describe subtle forms of discrimination. They experience behavior that dilutes authority and credibility, exclusion from important business conversations, disbelief they are smart enough to own a business, and more. There comes a point when my mentees say they feel crazy. This is especially true if she is the "first and only." I remind them although we have made great strides companies struggle with confident, competent, courageous and calm women leaders. What is a woman to do? I say lead anyway! It is not you that is crazy however company culture often is. We must surround ourselves with support from other talented women and lead "in an on purpose" despite discrimination. We descend from generations who thrived in even greater craziness. We can too. Onward and Upward!

Told not to get pregnant by a boss

One year ago, I transferred to a new team internally in my company. At the first meeting with my new manager, I was told not to become pregnant for at least one year because it wouldn't be fair to the other team members (I am the only female on the team). It has always been my intention not to get pregnant for one year when changing jobs, but it was my very first experience being told not to get pregnant by a boss in my 15 years of work experience. I wondered if he thought that he had the right to put restrictions on someone's pregnancy...? I was very puzzled and wondered if his comment was normal. I am still working on his team. He makes comments about my pregnancy sometimes, but he's the only one who does that in the office. I actually don't know how to judge his behavior...
—Guest Miko

Is it discrimination???

No wonder it does - I'd feel peeved too if that stopped me from getting a job. What's even more irritating is when people actually justify this type of discrimination, by saying that hiring a pregnant woman or a woman raising a family wouldn't be in the interest of the employer, because the woman would have less time to spend, or would have other priorities to deal with - I mean, come one isn't that the woman's decision? That applies to anyone - it's called biting off more than you can chew - you decide before you commit to something whether or not you can handle it, and if you can, you go for it, if not you don't, it's as simple as that. What right does an employer have to decide that for you? Worse case scenario, you get fired because you're not living up to what the job expects of you, but at least then it would be based on the type of work you do, and not whether or not you're pregnant.
—Guest Indu

Didn't get hired because I was pregnant

I once had a job I liked that didn't pay well, so I interviewed at a local company that was expanding. I met with them twice and they seemed very interested. My interviewer said I'd hear within two weeks. A month went by, I figured I didn't get the job, and my husband and I decided to start a family. Fortunately for us, I got pregnant very quickly. Three months after my last interview, the company called back and the interviewer said, "We'd like you to come in for one final interview." I told him, "I assumed I didn't get the job after I didn't hear from you." He said, "We hit some bumps in the road but now we're ready to hire for the position" and I blurted out, "But I've gotten pregnant since then!" BIG pregnant pause. He started to stumble over his words, and never came right out and said it, but I could hear he had no interest in talking to me any further. I knew my rights but didn't press it, thanked him but declined. Years later, it still burns me.
—Guest Shauna

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