Demoted: Is Gender Bias The Issue? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
Question:“My new boss is truly a male
chauvinist. He has surrounded himself with male managers and completely ignores
all the women. After holding a management position for eight years, I was
recently reclassified to a nonmanagement level. My boss gave no reason for this
change, except to say ‘it would be best for the department.’ Although my title
has been downgraded, my duties are almost exactly the same. The boss gave my old
title to a man, along with a hefty raise. My boss says this change was not
punitive. I believe that he simply doesn’t want any women managers. Should I
jump ship or go on as though nothing has happened?” — Discouraged
Answer: Despite much progress, women still encounter managers with
prehistoric attitudes. If your boss is such a Neanderthal, then your future may
• Before jumping ship, be sure that you have accurately
assessed the situation. New managers often reorganize, so there could be another
reason for your position change.
• Since the HR department would have
signed off on any official reclassification, ask the department for an
explanation. You may not agree, but at least you can evaluate their reasoning.
• If your HR manager is trustworthy, confidentially share your
concerns about discrimination. This may cause HR to watch your boss more
carefully in the future.
• Legally, you do have the right to file
formal discrimination charges. But that’s a big step that could have adverse
career consequences, so it should not be taken lightly.
If your boss does
have discriminatory beliefs and attitudes, they will continue to affect his
decisions. If you conclude that women have no future with him, start working on