If you’re a straight man, workplace discrimination based on gender or sexuality is probably not high on your list of concerns, but for millions of woman and members of the LGBT community, it’s an everyday reality that’s hard not to be concerned about. Incidences of blatant or subtle sexism and discrimination in the workplace are still alarmingly prevalent in almost every sector. Just consider these alarming facts and examples about how gender & sexuality affect us in today’s workplace:
The latest data from the U.S. census bureau shows that women make only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. These statistics are based on equal educational qualifications, experience and apple-to-apples work. This has been an issue for years, and in this presidential election year, it’s still a top issue.
Women are still regularly subjected to sexist attitudes and comments. Ad agency TBWA recently collected quotes from throughout the advertising industry and made a video which shows men reciting them to try to raise awareness and make a point. Quotes ranged from “People think I’m bossy when I have an opinion.” to “Stop addressing all the men in the room and not me.” and “Having a kid hurts my career.” Their tagline? “Womens issues are everyone’s issues.”
And consider the plight of the LGBT worker. In 34 states, a homophobic employer can still legally fire an LGBT employee on the basis of sexual orientation! A full 85% of Americans oppose sexual discrimination in the workplace and 61% would like to see a law passed to prohibit it at a Federal level. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has come before Congress several times since it was first introduced ten years ago, but it has yet to pass, despite broad public and bi-partisan support. (That’s a 10-year “stall” on something that most Americans want!)