In the modern workplace, striving for gender equality has become a paramount goal. However, despite significant progress, double standards persist, particularly when it comes to the treatment of women compared to men. These double standards not only hinder women’s advancement but also perpetuate inequality in the workplace. Let’s delve into 10 glaring examples of these double standards:

1. Salary Negotiation: Women often face pushback or negative perceptions when negotiating for higher salaries, while men engaging in the same behaviour are often praised for their assertiveness.

2. Leadership Style: Assertive leadership traits in women are frequently labelled as bossy or aggressive, whereas the same traits in men are often lauded as strong and effective.

3. Work-Life Balance: Women who prioritise family responsibilities may face judgment for perceived lack of commitment, whereas men doing the same are often not subjected to the same scrutiny.

4. Promotions: Women often have to meet higher standards and endure increased scrutiny to be considered for promotions, compared to men who may face less stringent criteria.

5. Emotional Expression: Women expressing emotions like frustration or sadness may be labelled as overly emotional, while similar displays from men are often accepted or even seen as justified.

6. Appearance: Women may face more pressure regarding their appearance in the workplace, with expectations to conform to certain standards that men are not typically subjected to.

7. Risk-taking: Men taking career risks are often viewed as ambitious, whereas women taking similar risks may be seen as reckless or overly ambitious.

8. Feedback Reception: Women may receive feedback on their performance framed in terms of personality traits, while men are more likely to receive feedback focused on their actions or skills.

9. Networking: Men networking after work hours are seen as building professional relationships, while women may face gossip or suspicion about their intentions.

These double standards not only affect women’s career progression but also contribute to a broader culture of inequality in the workplace. Addressing these disparities requires proactive efforts from both individuals and organisations. It involves challenging ingrained biases, promoting inclusive policies, and fostering a culture of equality and respect for all employees.

By recognising and addressing these double standards, we can strive towards a more equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of gender. It’s time to dismantle these barriers and create a workplace where merit, talent, and dedication are the sole determinants of success.

Want to read more check out our blog on the likability penalty for women in business here

Or perhaps you would like to read about the motherhood penalty here

We at Tell Jane are able to offer pregnancy at work training to organisations and a gender pay gap reporting service. If your company would benefit from advice on how to demonstrate your commitment to gender and parental equality in the workplace, email us at

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