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It’s an unfortunate fact of life that gender discrimination still permeates American society, including in the workplace. Citizens of California might be surprised to learn that studies have shown how gender discrimination impacts both genders and harms their opportunities when they pursue jobs that tend to be associated with the opposite sex, i.e. when a woman applies for a “man’s” job or vice-versa.

The study began when a sociologist wanted to know to what extent gender discrimination affects each gender in the workplace. She sent out 3,000 applications to different jobs, both working-class and middle-class. The researcher chose jobs that tended to be affiliated with one sex significantly more than the other, such as “male” jobs that required strength and mechanical ability or “female” jobs that required good communication skills and friendliness. After that, she waited to see which applications ended up in an interview

The study’s findings showed that when it came to working-class male-dominated jobs, gender discrimination was rampant. The same went for working-class female-dominated jobs but not as much as their male-dominated counterparts. As for middle-class jobs, the study showed that women had the same chance as men to get a male-dominated job. However, one of the most interesting findings was that female-dominated middle-class jobs tended to be the most discriminatory out of all the other job categories, favoring women 52 percent of the time more often than men.

The fact that gender discrimination still exists goes to show how much work there is to be done. Moreover, the work is not just about putting laws in place; it is also about changing culture in order to shift the definition of what a man or a woman can do. After all, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act that was enacted in the 1970s to ban gender-based job discrimination failed to stop the large disparity that currently exists in today’s job market. Anyone who believes that they’ve been affected by gender discrimination may want to reach out to a professional lawyer to help them explore their legal options.