2 Subtle Signs That Your Workplace's Polices Are Biased Against Women

Law Blog

When you think of sex or gender discrimination toward women in the workplace, you may picture men actively harassing the women they work with or obviously being treated differently, such as being passed over for promotions for which they are qualified. However, there are also subtle signs that your workplace is biased against women for which you should be on the lookout.

1.  Policy Dictates What Women Are Allowed to Wear but Not Men

It is not unusual for a company to have a dress code that is spelled out in its policy. Especially for certain high-level professions, both men and women are expected to dress professionally. These policies should state general guidelines for how people of all genders should dress, such as certain material, color, or general tailoring.

However, if the policy leans more toward spelling out a specific dress code for women that defines what the company thinks is both professional and "feminine," then there is some bias against employees of the female gender. The policy may insist that each woman wear a skirt or dress even though a pants suit is completely professional. 

The policy may even go as far as to require the wearing of high-heeled shoes and pantyhose. Since such detail is not given in the policy for the men's dress code, this can be viewed as gender discrimination. The policy takes away the woman's right to choose and tries to make them dress in stereotypical clothing.

2.  Availability and Sizes of Restrooms Are Disproportionate Between Men and Women

Another subtle sign that could indicate a company's views on their female employees is the availability and sizes of the restrooms that are for employee use. Normally, the restrooms should be of equal size for both sexes, and facilities should be available equally and on each floor of the building.

However, if the company simply does not take their female employees' needs into consideration, they may only provide small bathrooms even if the number of men and women working in the building are almost equal. They may also make women use facilities on a different floor while the men have bathrooms on each level.

Even if these may seem like only small inconveniences in your workplace, these gender-biased policies may reflect an underlying discriminatory attitude toward you as a woman. If you feel the company's policies are unfair or you feel as though you are being treated differently because of your sex, make an appointment with an office that offers gender discrimination law services to discuss your concerns.


23 September 2019

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