New Jersey women who enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields often face issues of sexual discrimination. Research has shown that male applicants are often given preference during the hiring process than women. Furthermore, women who are hired make significantly less than their male counterparts. Not only are hiring and salary practices discriminatory, but women also face more subtle forms of discrimination, including microaggression and bias.

A study conducted by Yale University found that tenured and tenure-track faculty were more likely to choose the resume of a male applicant than a female applicant during the hiring process. The study asked 127 scientists to review job applications of identically qualified students, both male and female. It found that faculty members, both male and female, were more likely to score a male candidate higher than a female in areas of competency.

In addition to dealing with gender bias in hiring practices, women in science must also deal with other forms of harassment and discrimination. According to a 2018 study, 47% of all women report gender harassment. Yet, in the sciences, more than 50% of females in the field reported incidences of harassment with 86% of the reported cases including a male perpetrator. Women in science also report harder-to-identify instances of harassment. Many have experienced indirect or subtle discrimination simply because they were women while others have had their views invalidated or received insults from male counterparts.

Regardless of the industry, sexual discrimination and harassment are illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law aims to make employers responsible for providing a workplace that’s free from discrimination and harassment. Although the law cannot prevent all issues, it requires employers to address harassment once they are told it is happening. If an employer refuses to properly address a report of sexual harassment, the victim may want to reach out to a lawyer who could help take legal action.

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