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Overcoming workplace discrimination
August 29, 2015, 1:26 pm

Obviously not every woman who in the corporate sector will come up against sexism or gender discrimination in their jobs, but many will.

The poor ratio of male to female in c-level executives right now is hard to ignore and day to day sexism has a lot to do with it.

So what can you do to get past the day-to-day gender issues and discrimination, and make sure you do not get thrown off your career path. Here are a few suggestions:

Raise the Issue: Gender discrimination can be blatantly obvious, or it can be so ingrained in a culture that it is part of everyday conversation. You could see male colleagues favoured over female ones, hear casual sexist remarks made in the office or about people you know, or discover a very real gender pay gap in the office.

Either way, if you think it is an issue that is affecting your life at work then you need to raise it. The trick is to have the confidence to recognise it and tackle it in a safe way. If you do not feel like you can talk to your line manager about it, then either go to a senior member of staff who you feel you have a good relationship with and who will be able to professionally advise you – this is really important, you do not want to look like you are trying to slag someone off.

Find a mentor: Whether you are in an office with a mixed management team and an open-minded culture or a set up with an all-male senior line-up, find yourself a mentor.

It does not matter what gender your mentor is, it just matters that they give you the help and advice that you need to help you along when you come up against challenges affecting your work or career progression.

Sometimes you just need someone in your profession with a lot of experience who knows your work and what you are capable of to give you a burst of confidence.

Push for recognition: You could do the best work of your life, work the longest hours you have ever done in a job and give up your weekends to campaigns too, but that doesn't mean you will necessarily get recognised for it or remunerated accordingly.

Don't expect your employer to see all your hard work and just give you the money you deserve. Use your performance and pay reviews to tell your superiors what you have achieved, why you're proud of your work, and how you successfully overcame the challenges facing you to get the results you did to prove why you deserve a promotion or pay rise.


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