More than 50 years after its passage, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which prohibits discrimination based on sex – has been invoked countless times in gender-based bias cases against women in the workplace. In 2015, with women having made significant progress in the business world, some in HR and legal circles offer a reminder and word of caution: gender discrimination can be a problem for men, too. So reports SHRM.
How so? Perhaps by favoring a woman in looking to fill an open position that’s traditionally been held by a male; or touting in a business-publication headline why “women make better managers,” which we’ve all seen at one time or another. Substitute the word “men” in that header, and you’ve got a knee-jerk discrimination claim.
Or consider this angle: it’s often stated or implied around the water cooler that women tend to be more “collaborative” than men, and that males have the reputation for being somewhat more “authoritarian” than their female counterparts.
What do we make of the male partner in a marriage who wants to play a nurturing role in his children’s lives, and requests a more flexible work schedule to spend more time with them? If he gets turned down for a promotion as a result of being on the “daddy track,” is that not gender discrimination?
The author of this SHRM.org article offers some suggestions for HR professionals that could encourage diversity and help hiring managers determine whether gender bias (conscious or unconscious) plays a role in their decision-making process.