Women and Workplace Discrimination: Overcoming Barriers to Gender Equality

By Raymond F. Gregory | Go to book overview

Five
Common Forms of
Sex Discrimination

Within fifteen years of the enactment of Title VII, the wage income of women increased by $22 billion, and more than four million women were working in higher job categories. 1 Although women have continued to experience improvement in working conditions, employment discrimination against women persists in various forms in at least three distinct categories: overt sex discrimination, sex stereotyping, and disparate treatment.


Overt and Blatant Forms of Sex Discrimination

For the most part, employers who discriminate against women endeavor to conceal their conduct. Others, however, have so little regard for the anti-discrimination laws that they openly flout them. Their conduct is overt and blatant, as Gendra Sennello found when she moved from Michigan to Florida and went to work as a sales agent with Reserve Life Insurance Company in Ft. Lauderdale. The following year, Reserve Life promoted her to a management position, and during the next seven years she gradually moved up the ranks to district manager of the company's Ft. Lauderdale office. Sennello's record at Reserve Life was exemplary. She effectively managed three offices, was often promoted, and was highly regarded by her colleagues. Then, suddenly, she was demoted and, shortly after, terminated.

The demise of Sennello's career at Reserve Life coincided with the arrival of a new regional manager. For many years, William Ebert worked for Reserve Life in regional manager positions throughout the country, and at this time he was appointed regional manager for Florida. Immediately after assuming his

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