Workplace Discrimination Against Women

woman writing on paper on table near lapop
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on June 14, 2019 and last updated on May 13, 2023

Engaging in conversations about workplace discrimination against women can be highly beneficial for language improvement. Firstly, it exposes learners to a relevant and thought-provoking topic, encouraging critical thinking and expanding their vocabulary related to gender equality, employment and social justice. Secondly, discussing workplace discrimination empowers learners to express their opinions, develop persuasive arguments and practice various language functions such as expressing agreement, disagreement, or proposing solutions.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

About Workplace Discrimination Against Women

In the past, and some would argue the present, women have faced common problems with workplace discrimination. One issue is that they often get paid less than men for doing the same job. Women also find it harder to move up in their careers due to something called the “glass ceiling”. The glass ceiling refers to an invisible barrier or limitation that prevents women from reaching higher positions or achieving top-level positions in the workplace.

They sometimes experience sexual harassment, which creates a bad and unfair work environment. Another problem is when women are treated poorly because they are pregnant or have children. All of these problems are caused by unfair stereotypes and biases. It’s important to talk about these issues and work towards fixing them so that women can have equal opportunities in the workplace.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • discrimination (noun)
  • discriminate (verb)
  • gender (noun)
  • harassment (noun)
  • unfairly (adverb)
  • treatment (noun)

Conversation Questions

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  • Are women still discriminated against in business?
  • Have you ever witnessed gender discrimination in the workplace?
  • Do you think it is a problem nowadays?
  • What measures can companies take to ensure gender discrimination doesn’t happen?
  • What type of gender discrimination is typical for a woman to experience?
  • How do you think workplace discrimination affects women's career opportunities and professional growth?
  • In your opinion, what steps can be taken to address and eliminate workplace discrimination against women?
  • Should companies be legally required to disclose their gender pay gap?
  • Is it fair to implement affirmative action policies to promote gender diversity in leadership positions?
  • Should there be stricter laws and penalties for companies found guilty of workplace discrimination against women?
  • If you had the power to make changes in the workplace, what would you do to make sure women are treated fairly?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.