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Has your gender kept you from a promotion?

When you first got hired by your company, you thought they valued diversity. They were hiring an equal amount of men and women for these entry-level positions. You felt encouraged.

Ten years later, though, you’re reconsidering your position. The trouble is that every time you apply for a promotion, you see it go to a male coworker. At first, they had the same experience as you, and you shrugged it off. Now, though, you’re clearly the most experienced and capable candidate, but they still won’t promote you. Less qualified men get the promotions instead. Why is this?

Can women be leaders?

This can happen for many reasons, but a big one is that many male executives believe the myth that men are born leaders and women are not. They may know that you’ve done an excellent job in your current position. They may know that you’re qualified. What’s stopping them is the misguided belief that you cannot lead, so they’re not willing to promote you any higher than your current position.

It’s easy to understand that your boss can’t fire you because you’re a woman or refuse to consider female applicants when hiring. But situations like this are more complex. They will give you a job, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually experiencing equality. This type of discrimination can still massively damage your career.

What should you do?

Once you’ve identified what is happening, you need to know what legal options you have. Discrimination is illegal, of course, and there are steps you can take to fight for your rights.