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Dealing with Gender Discrimination

Dealing with Gender Discrimination

Living in today's world, you might have experienced gender discrimination one way or another. Maybe you were skipped over for a promotion you were most suitable for or you have been asked to wait for your male siblings to finish schooling before you can start or you have been denied a job or other opportunity because of your gender. When you really think about it, you realize how common it is and how widespread it is in society.   


But you shouldn't have to just accept it; here are 4 ways to deal with gender discrimination:  

Identify and get rid of biases  

One major factor that ensures the continuity of discrimination in all sectors is bias. Bias results when people believe that certain ideas, values, or individuals are better than others and consequently treat people who don't fit into these ideals unfairly.   

A gender bias will lead to discrimination whether intentional or unintentionally. For instance, a hiring manager who believes that only men are smart enough for a particular job will ignore women with similar or even better qualifications for the same job. This is known as the like-me bias.   

Hiring managers and other human resources personnel should be educated and aware of such biases to avoid it influencing their decisions.   

Call attention to it  

 While HR has a role to play in preventing discrimination in workplaces, it's up to you to draw attention to it in other settings and in less aware workplaces. If you notice that you are being ignored when you speak up about an idea, or give feedback about something, draw the person's attention to it.   

Some people discriminate against certain genders unintentionally and you might notice a change when you make them aware of it. Drawing people's attention to their behaviour often gets them thinking about why they are acting the way they are. You are going to have lots of uncomfortable conversations but they will bring about positive results.   

Be an ally & find allies  

No matter how strong you are, you can't fight this battle alone. Take note of people who support you and ask for help from them. These people become your allies and help draw attention to your skills, redirect questions to you in meetings, ask for your opinions. In essence, they help you stand out.   

Consequently, you also have to be an ally. Whenever you notice gender discrimination taking place anywhere, be the person who speaks up and helps them stand out.   

Learn to assert yourself  


When you are faced with discrimination, you might think about shying away from it or just accepting it or acting subservient so that you can get by. These tactics may work in the short run, but will backfire in the long term.   

Develop your skills and be confident in them. Don't back away from challenges, in fact step up and nominate yourself if you are ignored. Don't take up more work to prove yourself as this may just lead to people dumping work on you, learn to say no and delegate when necessary.  



Gender discrimination pervades different areas of our society. It's found in offices, schools, markets, and in the home. However, its widespread reach does not mean that we should accept it, rather we should do all we can to ensure that it is eliminated.