It may be the 21st century, and there’s no denying that women have come a long way in terms of equality. Unfortunately, we’ve also still got a long way to go.
That’s especially apparent in the working world.
Women are still regularly discriminated against in the workplace. In fact, a 2017 study found that 42% of working women in the United States have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender.
It’s frustrating, to say the least, but it’s obvious that some things still have to change in working environments across the globe before women are finally fully treated like equals.
In the meantime, however, there are things you can do to cope with discrimination and keep your head high no matter what. Let’s cover a few helpful strategies you can use.
The first thing you should do if you ever face gender-based discrimination at work is to talk to your employer or HR manager about it. By bringing it up in a professional manner and expressing your concerns, they should be able to get to the root of the problem.
If they don’t take disciplinary action against the person/people who have discriminated against you, or they don’t change their policies to better protect women in the office, it might be time to look for a different place to work.
That might sound extreme. However, a workplace that doesn’t protect all of its employees is often toxic. It’s likely the culture won’t change unless there are major overhauls within the company.
Find Your Support Systems
Whether your employer does something about discrimination or not, it’s still easy for someone’s words to take a toll on your well-being. It’s important to have a support system in your corner that you can lean on.
That could include other women in your workplace who are dealing with the same things, or friends and family members who will support you and stand by you through anything. Dealing with discrimination can make you feel weak and defeated. Having people to back you up and encourage you can give you the energy and strength to keep fighting back.
Focus On Your Strengths
Some people have gotten so “good” at discrimination they can make you feel like you’re actually not doing a good job, or that you’re not a good fit for your position.
If you’re starting to second-guess yourself based on the opinions of others at work, take the time to focus on your strengths. Why are you good at your job? What are your best skills? What assets do you bring to your business each day?
By focusing on your strengths, you’ll build your confidence and self-esteem, and it’ll be easier to stand up against those who try to criticize the work you do.
Take Care of Yourself
Dealing with discrimination is never easy. But you can cope in healthier, more productive ways by making self-care a priority. Get enough sleep each night, stay physically active, and take care of your mental health by reducing stress and finding outlets to combat feelings of depression or anxiety that stem from work.
If you’re really struggling with the effects of discrimination and you don’t see a way out of your current career path, consider getting professional help. While therapy can’t change your current job situation, it can help you deal with discrimination and those who treat you poorly in ways that will build you up and allow you to keep your head high.
Don’t let people with antiquated ideas in your workplace treat you like less of a person because of your gender. Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment soon with counseling for women and business.