female scientist filing a vial in lab

Female scientists report being mistaken as janitors in STEM fields

Sex harassment sometimes stems from gender bias, which is especially prevalent in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

A recent study by the Harvard Business Review shows this problem goes beyond pay imbalances.

More than 60 percent of women in STEM reported they have to prove their competence more than men. The surveyors also noted a disturbing finding: About 48 percent of black female scientists and 47 percent of Latina female scientists reported being mistaken for “administrative or custodial staff.”

Women in STEM also reported feeling more isolation, as well as pressure to portray stereotypically feminine roles or to spend more time at home with their families.

If these biases rise to the level of harassment, employees have remedies, both under Florida law and federal law. Section 703(a) of Title VII permits harassment claims based on sex, as does the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Sex harassment is a claim the lawyers at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa are experienced in handling. The industry appears to also be stepping up to the plate, working to cut down on gender disparity in technology: According to another article in the Harvard Business Review, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have admitted they have work to do when it comes to their levels of female employment.

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