While American women have made great strides in integrating various industries in the past 50 years, there are still many workplaces dominated by men. Though few workforces in California are all male or all female anymore, it’s not uncommon for there to only be a handful of women in certain workplaces.

Ideally, the proportion of men to women at your job would not make you more vulnerable to discrimination and sexual harassment. But that is not how things work. As a study by Pew Research Center indicates, the more that men outnumber women at work, the more likely they are to harass their female staff and illegally damage their careers.

Problems in majority-male workplaces

Pew surveyed female and male employees about their experiences in their current jobs. They found that roughly one-third of workforces have about equal numbers of women and men. Around 48 percent of women said they work in female-majority workplaces and another 19 percent said that women were in the minority on the job.

When men outnumber women, sexual harassment is all too common. Nearly half the women in male-dominated workplaces said that harassment was a problem. One-third told Pew that their gender has had a negative impact on their careers. Forty-nine percent said their employers care about improving gender diversity, compared with 78 percent of women in evenly-gendered jobs.

Fighting back against gender discrimination

Things may have changed in some ways, but in some ways nothing has changed at all. As we have seen recently, sexual harassment remains a major problem throughout California. Fortunately, the law empowers victims of harassment and gender discrimination to take on the businesses that commit or tolerate this conduct.