Compared to men, women have experienced more forms of discrimination in society.
Inequality between the sexes has existed since the early times. Women were obliged to stay at home, which prevented them from pursuing education and careers. They were also hindered from voicing their opinions, participating in politics, and holding public office.
Fortunately, certain roles are now more gender-friendly in the 20th century. Women can now choose their desired profession, practice voting rights, and even lead governments.
Although there were significant events that uplifted women in society, gender discrimination still exists in present times, specifically in the workplace.
According to a research by the Center for American Progress and Elle Magazine, nearly 30 percent of women in the United States experience discrimination at work. Apart from highlighting diverse business aspects, such as compensation, career, and mandated leaves, the study also reported that just 21 of the CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women.
As a modern-day woman, it is time to eliminate gender bias and start empowering yourself. Here are three ways to overcome gender discrimination at work.
1. Embrace Common Biases
Several biases in the workplace occur every day. Educational attainment, work experience, and honors and awards can influence one’s perception of another. In addition, a person may also receive judgment based on color, abilities, culture, and language. Biases like these are common, but they still sting sometimes. Whenever you experience them, it is important that you take them as a compliment and embrace your personality, upbringing, and achievements. It will not only protect you from discrimination but will also strengthen your character and confidence.
Another common bias is present in organizational positions. Women do not receive enough praise and attention from their higher-ups, which prevent them from leading a team or business. This can be truly upsetting, but treating this gender gap as a norm allows you to fight inequality. Once you understand that comparisons are common in any industry, it will be easier for you to overcome struggles and realize your worth. Embrace biases, motivate yourself, and do more than expected.
2. Use Your Strengths
When you can welcome criticism in the workplace, the next thing you should do is take advantage of your strengths.
Use your strong points to achieve your dreams and attain success. Think of the strengths that men find weaknesses in, such as practicing patience and addressing interpersonal issues. A study by Catalyst says that female managers tend to be more sensitive to interpersonal issues, while male managers tend to ignore such difficulties since these are perceived as “personal problems.”
It is also important to build your confidence by believing in your skill set and one-of-a-kind qualities. If you’re good at socializing, cultivate your professional relationship with clients and colleagues. If you’re good at organizing and handling people, present yourself as a leader whenever a good opportunity arises. Great leaders know how to communicate and build rapport.
3. Control Your Emotions
Both men and women are capable of being overemotional, but when it comes to handling negative stimuli, the ladies take it more seriously.
This was proven by the National Center for Biotechnology Information when they claimed that everyone is different when it comes to dealing with mental stress. Adrianna Menrek, a researcher from the Institut Universitaire En Santé Mentale de Montréal, said, “Greater emotional reactivity in women may explain many things, such as their being twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety disorders to men.”
Whenever you feel distressed, keep your cool and don’t let negativity affect your productivity and performance. If someone, whether a boss or partner, says awful comments about your output, take it easy and consider it as an opportunity to learn. Instead of taking offense, assume that the person has a noble intent. Hear his idea and continue doing a good job.
Slowly Eliminating the Gap
For many decades, women have made great strides to secure gender equality. We have seen demonstrations on TV, heard about feminist roles on social media, and even experienced many efforts concerning the issue. It’s unfortunately true that males are told to be more dominant, making women less important in society.
Luckily, discrimination towards women has changed overtime. Apart from experiencing and even managing male-sensitive roles, women are also able to practice rights they were discouraged to explore before. Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates, and Oprah Winfrey are just some of the women who have made their mark in politics, technology, and entertainment, respectively. They continue to prove that despite gender discrimination, women can stand and stay on the top.
Don’t let gender discrimination at work hamper your growth. Embrace common biases and accept judgements to motivate yourself. Learn from critics to identify your strengths and harness your true potential. Choose not to be offended and learn along the way.
Lastly but most importantly, eliminate gender gap and let your voice be heard.
“The Big Power Grab” Elle Magazine. www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/g7678/power-survey
“A Timeline of Women’s Legal History in the United States.” Stanford Law School. www.wlh.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/cunnea-timeline.pdf
Fang, Jain. “7 Ways to Excel in a Male-Dominated Workplace.” The Muse. www.themuse.com/advice/7-ways-to-excel-in-a-maledominated-workplace
Lungu, Ovidiu, Stéphane Potvin, Andràs Tikàs, and Adrianna Mendrek. “Sex differences in effective fronto-limbic connectivity during negative emotion processing.” Psychoneuroendocrinology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26318628
Magaldi, Kristin. “Study: Women’s Brains Are More Sensitive to Negative Emotions; React Differently Than Men’s.” Medical Daily. www.medicaldaily.com/study-womens-brains-are-more-sensitive-negative-emotions-react-differently-mens-354226
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