Can’t happen today you say? Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. Bias and discrimination are alive and well in the workplace, academia and science.
Traditionally female faculty have been paid only a percentage of male faculty and historically have had to have better grades than their male counterparts to be admitted to doctorate programs.
Women in science have even had to work for free as “volunteer” members of the faculty. In fact, as one National Geographic article points out, many names of female inventors, scientists, explorers and the like have not made it into the classroom, textbooks or history.
This is part of the reason why employment law is so necessary, even today, especially when it comes to gender discrimination. Any employer who prevents anyone from pursuing a career or filling a certain position because of his or her gender is in violation of state and federal laws.
Of course, no employee should feel that they have been discriminated against because of their gender. The law is very clear that unequal treatment because of your gender regarding your salary, benefits, hiring or promotion is illegal.
You should also not be harassed for pointing out gender bias in the workplace. If you have pursued a complaint about gender bias or sexual harassment and been laid off, demoted, fired or received any other adverse action, your rights may have been violated. If you believe this has happened to you seek legal counsel.
Also, if you are a woman or a man who has been demoted, laid off or fired after your child’s delivery your employer may be in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The purpose of employment law is to protect your rights and ensure fair treatment under the law.
To go back to the beginning, though, if you didn’t know, Martha Coston invented signal flares, but the patent was awarded to her husband, who had been dead for the decade she worked on the plans. If you check Wilkipedia you’ll find Mary Anning was a paleontologist who discovered major fossils including icthyosaurs. Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer and Elizabeth Magie invented the Landlord’s Game, a game now called Monopoly, the credit for which was given to Charles Darrow.
Sources: Mother Jones, “Ladies Last: 8 Inventions by Women That Dudes Got Credit For,” Tim Murphy and Tasneem Raja, Oct. 15, 2013.
National Geographic, “,” Jane J. Lee, accessed July 12, 2016.