Women in California who are employed in workplaces that are male-dominated may experience more gender discrimination at work than women whose workplaces are mostly women or are fairly evenly divided. A 2017 Pew Research survey, conducted before sexual harassment in the workplace became a big focus, found that women in male-dominated workplaces were more likely to say that women were treated less fairly and that they struggled to get ahead in addition to reporting higher overall rates of gender discrimination.
According to the study, about one-third of women said their workplaces were roughly equal in terms of gender balance while almost half said they were female-dominated. However, the 18% who said there were more men than women in their workplaces said sexual harassment was more of a problem than the others surveyed. They also reported less support from leaders and more small slights based on their gender.
Other negative experiences reported by women in workplaces dominated by men were feeling isolated, not getting a job or promotion because of their gender and being ignored for important assignments. Overall, just over half of employees across all industries are male, but women tend to be concentrated in such fields as teaching and health care while men tend to work more in areas like construction, repair and engineering.
People are supposed to be protected against gender discrimination in the workplace as well as against discrimination based on other protected characteristics, such as race, religion and more. While there are federal protections in place, the state of California offers additional protection. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to prove gender or other types of discrimination because, as this survey demonstrates, bias is often subtle and difficult to prove. People who believe they are facing discrimination might want to talk to an attorney about their rights and what steps to take.