One-Third of Women Claim Weekly Discrimination at Work

Thirty-three percent of female workers said their gender works against them when applying for a job, while 11% said it works in their favor.

Another 56% think their gender has no influence on whether they are hired.

Once on the job, 31% of female workers said they experience discrimination or unfair treatment at least once a week; 26% percent said once a month; and 34% said it happens occasionally.

In terms of involuntary termination, 12% of female workers said they believed they had been fired at some point in their career because of their gender.

These figures are from a new study, “Diversity in the Workplace,” designed to gauge how diversity impacts hiring, compensation, and career advancement.

This study “indicates that there is still much room for improvement,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at, said in a statement.

“Nearly one-third of women said they feel discriminated against or treated unfairly based on their gender at least once a week,” said Haefner.

Reporting Unfair Treatment

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Unfortunately, the survey shows that a lot of this discrimination is swept under the rug. Almost 50% of female workers who experienced discrimination or unfair treatment said they did not report the incident; 72% said they didn’t think reporting the incident would make a difference; 46% feared being labeled as a trouble-maker; and 34% feared losing their jobs.

When they did report the alleged abuse, 34% told their direct supervisor, 26% reported it to human resources, and 18% reported it to someone in senior management.

Despite this, 61% of workers who reported the incident said they didn’t think their claim was taken seriously. In 69% of the cases, the survey found that the alleged offender was not held accountable.

The survey found that just 3% of female workers took legal action against their employer.

Harris Interactive conducted the nationwide survey of 1,000 workers on behalf of and Kelly Services.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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