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From the research: Myths worth dispelling

by Jeanne Farrington
Performance Improvement Quarterly ()


With the obvious gains in pay and employment equity for women in the workplace during the last 50 years, both in measurable changes and in legislation designed to ensure such changes, some have assumed that gender discrimination is a thing of the past. However, despite improvements, equal pay for equal work and equal opportunities for hiring, promotion, and leadership positions remain elusive in many areas. Stereotype threat and gender differences in self-positioning and communication are two contributors to differences in pay and position. Stereotype threat can result in reduced performance and a tendency for women to opt out of participation in fields and positions that are currently populated mostly by men. Gender differences in self-positioning and communication can result in unwitting discrimination because employers and others fail to notice qualified female candidates. We should employ remedies for these (and other) factors that contribute to gender discrimination. This is likely only if we first acknowledge that gender discrimination is alive and well in today's workplace-whether intentionally so or not.

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