Ways That Gender Discrimination Impacts a Company
Employee Well-Being and Productivity
- When gender discrimination results in sexual harassment, the target of this unwanted attention feels dehumanized. The employee will want to come to work less and less, leading to high absenteeism. In addition, harassment causes psychological damage, which in and of itself affects a person's health. A victim of sexual harassment may feel sicker from the stress than a non-harassed counterpart. Absenteeism and ill health reduce productivity, which negatively impacts the company.
The Best Employee for the Job
- Gender discrimination stems from the preconceived ideas people have about men's and women's roles and characteristics. For example, a stereotype of women exists which says females lack good leadership qualities by nature. A female employee might possess excellent qualifications to be a manager, but if her boss makes his decisions based on gender stereotypes, he will still hire a less qualified man for the job. Men are stereotypically seen as strong leaders. As a result, the company may not have the leadership it needs, and suffer accordingly.
- Gender discrimination may ultimately result in damaging, expensive litigation. Companies bear liability if a supervisor harasses employees. Also, if an employee can prove he was turned down for a promotion or raise because of his gender, he can take his complaint to court. In 1989, Ann Hopkins won a Supreme Court case against her employer, Price Waterhouse Cooper. Hopkins claimed her supervisors rejected her for a promotion because she was too aggressive and not feminine enough. Smart companies can avoid such lawsuits by educating against gender discrimination.