What is the Difference Between Sex & Gender Discrimination?
Though you are likely familiar with the difference between “gender” and “sex” many people tend to mix up or even merge the two, especially as people around the world continue to question and expand upon how society currently classifies gender.
Basically, the difference between the two and the types of discrimination are as follows:
- Discrimination based on sex involves a person’s biological characteristics and whether they were assigned “male” or “female” at birth.
- Discrimination based on gender involves how a person physically presents themselves as well as on their perceived role in society.
When an individual’s sex and gender do not align, they may be considered “transgender” or “non-binary” (people whose sex and gender identities align are often referred to as “cisgender”). Generally, however, these two are considered together or at least as two parts of the same category when it comes to the legal implications. Either way, it is a civil rights violation to be targeted based on either.
Examples of Sex & Gender Discrimination
Gender and sex discrimination can manifest in different ways. The bottom line is you should never be treated any differently or worse than your colleagues as a result of your sex or gender.
Examples of what gender and sex discrimination in the workplace may look like includes:
- Being asked interview questions that specifically target your sex or gender (such as whether you plan to get pregnant)
- Being assigned to different tasks than coworkers of another sex or gender in the same position aren’t required to do (e.g., asking only women to serve to or only men to do heavy lifting)
- Being fired for reporting sex or gender-related harassment or abuse
- Being paid less than colleges of a different gender in the same position
- Being passed over for promotions despite being more qualified than colleagues of a different sex/gender
- Employees are barred from holding senior positions or advancing beyond a certain point because of their sex or gender
- Experiencing sexual harassment or being targeted for harassment due to your sex or gender identity
- Granting longer leave for mothers than for fathers
- People make fun of, insult, or threaten you because you don’t conform to your perceived sex or gender identity
How to Fight Back Against Gender & Sex Discrimination
While people tend to associate women as the sole victims of gender discrimination, the reality is that people of any sex or gender can be discriminated against. The same goes for those who can perpetrate such actions—both men and women as well as individuals who identify outside of the binary may be responsible for harassment. Regardless of how you identify, you should never feel afraid of standing up against the individual, people, or company that discriminated against you. With us by your side, you can be confident that we will use the law as well as any other tools available to us to argue your case and help you get the result you deserve.