What is gender discrimination in the workplace?
Gender discrimination is when an employee, whether a man or woman, is treated unfairly because of their gender.
Under the Equality Act 2010, ‘gender’ is one of nine protected characteristics. That means it is illegal to discriminate against somebody because of their gender.
Discrimination on the grounds of gender should not be confused with discrimination against someone because of their sexual orientation, as ‘sexual orientation’ is a separate protected characteristic under the Act.
An employer must make sure their company’s processes and policies do not unfairly discriminate against employees. This includes:
- Education and training
- Pay and benefits
- Redundancy and dismissal
- Terms and conditions of employment
What are the types of gender discrimination in the workplace?
Types of discrimination in the workplace are:
This is when an employee is treated unfavourably because of their gender. For example, they are not offered a promotion because they are a woman.
If there is an umbrella policy in place which may cause some employees to be more disadvantaged than others. For example, if all employees are suddenly expected to work on Saturday mornings, this could discriminate against those who do not have adequate childcare.
An example of victimisation is an employee being treated poorly because they have brought a complaint against their employer for gender discrimination.
This could involve comments or jokes of a sexual nature that make somebody feel uncomfortable or humiliated.