Here in South Florida, and throughout the country, many people like to think that workplace inequality between men and women is a thing of the past. And while the more obvious and accepted forms of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment have gone by the wayside, more subtle forms of gender bias do still exist.
According to recent research, discussed on a Harvard Business Review blog last month, bias against women in the workplace is still very much alive, unfortunately. Specifically, the study found that working men whose wives did not work or worked only part time tended to hold more negative views of women in the workplace.
The researchers compiled data from national surveys, including the General Social Survey and the National Opinion Research Center before arriving at the conclusions. The study found that not only did these working men, with wives who stayed at home, consider the presence of women in the workplace to be unfavorable, but they also thought that the more women were in a workplace, the worse it functioned. Furthermore, they found organizations that had female leaders to be unattractive and finally, they frequently failed to offer promotions to female employees.
It is important to note that the study has been critiqued, as it reportedly did contain some data that was more than 10 years old.
Nonetheless, whether or not this subset of working men specifically discriminates against working women, we do know that unfortunately in some cases women are discriminated against at work. Of course, in some cases men are discriminated against as well. It is important that employers take steps to truly remove this element from the modern workplace.
A variety of federal and Florida state employment laws protect workers from discrimination in the workplace, and those who feel their rights have been violated are wise to seek legal recourse.
Source: Washington Post, “Is your colleague’s stay-at-home wife holding you back at work,” Jenna McGregor, May 18, 2012