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Sex discrimination in the workplace is still an issue in the U.S.

It seems like instances of sexual misconduct in the workplace are dominating the news this day, involving many prominent people in politics and the entertainment industry. However, gender discrimination can occur just about anywhere, affecting women in Illinois and nationwide, as one recent survey from the Pew Research Center shows.

According to the survey approximately 42 percent of female respondents reported experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace, compared to only 22 percent of men. Of the women who responded to the survey, 25 percent claimed they were not paid as much as their male counterparts even though they were both performing the same job duties. Only 5 percent of male respondents reported the same treatment.

In addition, 23 percent of female respondents reported they were looked down upon as incompetent, due to their gender. Only 6 percent of male respondents reported the same. Also, 16 percent of female respondents reported being repeatedly slighted in the workplace because they were women. Only 5 percent of male respondents reported the same treatment.

In addition, 15 percent of female respondents claimed that they did not get the same amount of support from their superiors than men who had the same position did. Only 7 percent of male respondents reported experiencing that form of discrimination. Also, one out of every 10 of female respondents claimed that they were not given important job duties due to the fact they were a woman. Only 5 percent of male respondents reported experiencing that form of discrimination.

Sexual harassment is an issue as well. According to the survey, 22 percent of female respondents reported experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, versus 7 percent of male respondents. Another survey found that 30 percent of female respondents were the recipients of unwanted sexual advancements in the workplace. A third poll revealed that 35 percent of female respondents claimed they were sexually harassed at work.

These are disturbing numbers that show that the issues of gender discrimination and sexual harassment are still prevalent in today's workplaces. And, while women are often the victims of these forms of workplace discrimination, men can be victims as well. Therefore, those in Illinois who believe they have been discriminated against at work due to their gender may want to take the steps necessary to protect themselves, including speaking with an employment law attorney.

Source: Pew Research Center, "Gender discrimination comes in many forms for today's working women," Kim Parker and Cary Funk, Dec. 14, 2017

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