What to Do About Gender Discrimination In the Workplace
There is no question that gender discrimination in the workplace happens but what do we do about it as leaders? If it does happen and we are the business owner or the supervisor of the claimant and we did nothing to protect them we most likely will be sued for the wrongdoing of someone else. Protecting our employees is our responsibility and we better take it seriously.
Gender discrimination can happen blatantly or indiscreetly but in either case as a leader you need to have your antenna up and recognize the signs. As an example an employee may make an off handed comment to another employee like you women are all alike. Now just an off the wall comment that only happens once certainly isn’t going to cross the line; however, if it routinely happens and or the comment is egregious enough you better put a stop to it immediately.
In many cases a supervisor or business owner claims that they didn’t know it was going on but that excuse is hard to get away with. The law states that if you as a leader knew or should have known you are responsible. This changes everything. In most cases a leader ignores those types of discriminatory comments and therefore, by default allows gender discrimination in the workplace to happen. That disregard for your employee(s) could cost you a lot of money. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes claims of gender discrimination or a hostile workplace very seriously.
One of the best ways to prevent this type of behavior is to hold training classes explaining what gender discrimination is and what the consequences of violating your policy on it are. At a minimum the consequences need to insure that the behavior is stopped and the victim is not retaliated against. This will often happen from other employees trying to apply peer pressure against the claimant for reporting them. This is illegal and should also be dealt with head on. Don’t tolerate it and train against it. That includes training your leadership team also. This will go a long way to protecting you should a claim be filed, however, it is important that you follow you own policies.
Thank you and May God bless you!
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