Indirect Workplace Gender Discrimination: 8 Things to Look Out For

When it comes to workplace gender discrimination, there are some obvious pitfalls that employers can easily avoid. However, there are other things to look out for that could lead to less gender discrimination so these should be considered too. Here are the 8 points to check when considering workplace gender discrimination.


Considering equal opportunities is important. Avoiding workplace gender discrimination during the recruiting process can be a minefield. Among the things to consider, avoid publishing job adverts only on websites or publications that are read by one sex, and do not ask candidates questions about planning families or their current situation.

Flexible Working

Many women that have children (or other care responsibilities) require flexible working or part-time working in order to conciliate work and personal life. Employers have to consider flexible working requests, as failure to do so could constitute gender discrimination in the workplace. Employers should also be aware that men and employees without children are also entitled to make requests for flexible working.

Working Hours

Employers should try to steer away from out of hours meetings or team building events. Any activity held outside of working hours can potentially discriminate parents and people that have caring responsibilities meaning they cannot stay late.

Avoid Workplace Gender Discrimination with Training Opportunities

Ensure equality of opportunity by offering training to both men and women. Both part-time and full-time workers should have the same opportunities for training and career development and this will help avoid workplace gender discrimination too.

Pay Levels

With the new Gender Pay Gap Reporting legislation, the difference in pay for men and women has benefitted from increased awareness. HR teams can help support the business by drawing plans to promote and monitor equality in pay levels and fight against workplace gender discrimination with regards to wages.


Many women are being forced to leave their job after becoming pregnant. Not only should employers respect the law with maternity leave and pay but they should also try to create a supportive environment. Avoid creating a hostile environment for expecting or new mothers with negative comments over childcare arrangements and this will help curtail gender discrimination in the workplace by encouraging these practices.


A recent survey carried out by The Chartered Management Institute showed that male managers were 40% more likely to be promoted compared to women managers. This could be because men tend to put themselves forward for promotions, more than women even if they are equally qualified. Businesses could arrange a mentoring system or invest in a leadership course.

Dress Codes

There are many stories about dress code gender discrimination in the workplace for women in the news. If employers can require different dress standards from their male and female employees, they should make sure that the rules are fair to both genders.

If you are worried about possible discrimination claims, we can help. We can review all HR processes and rules and draft new ones if necessary. If you’d like us to support your business, don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a non-committing chat and we can help you combat gender discrimination in the workplace should it arise in your own office or workspace!

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