In 1964, Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which outlaws gender discrimination in the workplace. This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
American women who work full-time, year-round are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. (Source: National Women’s Law Center)
In 2011, women comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force and are projected to account for 46.9 percent of the labor force in 2018. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)
Women currently hold 4.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 4.2 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. (Source: Catalyst)
Workplace Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination in the workplace was outlawed by Congress in 1964, yet it persists today. Some of this discrimination occurs in part because of outdated stereotypes about women and their “proper” place in society and in the workforce. Women are still sometimes viewed as not needing raises or promotions because they aren’t “breadwinners,” not tough enough for some jobs, too tough for other jobs, and less dedicated to the workplace—usually because of their caregiving responsibilities—than their male counterparts. Even when these biases are unconscious, they can lead to discrimination. These stereotypes contribute to women receiving lower pay for the same work, fewer promotions, fewer opportunities for advancement at work, fewer workforce training opportunities for higher-paying jobs, and being concentrated in low-paying positions in traditionally female fields.