Study finds link between education, gender discrimination

A study by the Pew Research Center found that around 42 percent of women said they had experienced gender discrimination at work compared to 22 percent of men. Among the types of discrimination that women in Arizona and throughout the country might experience include earning less than a man doing the same job, being passed over for important assignments, being treated as though they are not competent and being denied a promotion.

However, the study also found that the women most likely to report gender discrimination were those with postgraduate degrees. Women who only had some college or less had the lowest reported rates of discrimination.

There may be several reasons for this. Women with more education might be more aware of gender bias. However, as women rise in managerial positions, they might also find that there are fewer other women in those roles. Only a quarter of the executives and 5 percent of the CEOs in the S&P 500 are women. Boards also tend to be largely composed of men. Furthermore, other research has found that employees in more senior roles tend to display more gender bias. Another reason could be that evaluating work at higher levels is less quantitative and thus more vulnerable to bias.

People who believe they are facing gender discrimination in the workplace might want to speak to an attorney about how to handle the situation. It is best to document all incidents of gender discrimination. Discrimination may be subtle, and a workplace might have channels for reporting and investigating gender discrimination that are ineffective. Senior employees at a company might be protected. However, a person may need to start by going through these channels. If the company does not respond appropriately or a person faces retaliation for reporting discrimination, the next step may be seeking legal remedies.

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