Workplace Sexism Can Be Harmful to Women’s Health
Research indicates that women working in sex-segregated or male-dominated fields, such as STEM fields, are more likely to experience high levels of both interpersonal and organizational sexism. Women who experience sexism are more likely to report higher levels of stress, more missed days of work, higher rates of working when unwell, and lower levels of productivity.
Objective disadvantages, such as lower pay, status, and fewer opportunities at work, as well as subjective experiences of being stigmatized, also affect women’s psychological and physical stress, mental and physical health, and ultimately, their overall performance.
This research is backed by studies of the cortisol (stress hormone) levels of women working in mostly male occupations. Those women have less healthy cortisol profiles compare d to women who worked in jobs with a more even gender split. This is important to women’s health because unhealthy cortisol levels have been known to be associated with conditions such as osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes, susceptibility to infections, and depression. The study also showed that women who work in mostly male professions – in which at least 85% of the employees were male – were more likely to experience stressors such as social isolation, sexual harassment, and low levels of support in the workplace compared to women working in jobs with a more even gender divide in the workplace. These women also reported they have a harder time being promoted at their company and have perceived that their co-workers doubted their competence.
If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed because of your gender, or retaliated against for opposing or reporting discriminatory conduct, please consider contacting the lawyers at the Bullman Law Firm. We represent workers, not employers. Our number is (503) 987-5000. There is no charge for your call.