When an employee works hard, they expect to advance in their career. People do not expect to hit glass ceilings set in place based on gender. Unfortunately, for some women, the result of their extra training, education, and initiative is a denial for advancement. What's most important to understand about this type of scenario is that it is discrimination, and it is illegal. If you have faced this type of scenario, creating a trail of documentation is critical.
Handbook and Policies
Get a copy of your handbook or policies guide, especially if you believe that you have been denied a promotion solely because of your gender. These records typically include information about qualifications and guidelines for certain positions.
If you work for a company that awards merit-based promotions and you meet all the qualifications for the promotion, you can use this record to prove that there is something amiss about the company not promoting you as outlined in the handbook. This information might be available online, or you should be able to contact someone in HR for this record.
Every company should maintain a personnel record. Within this record, there should be information about your certifications and education, performance reviews, and disciplinary records. There should also be information about any promotions you've applied for and possibly records on why the position was not awarded to you.
Request access to this record to see if you're able to spot any discrepancies about why you were denied a new role. If your employer declines your request, once you contact an attorney and file an official suit, he or she will be able to obtain the record on your behalf.
There is always a note or memo viewed by someone it was not initially intended for or a comment made in the presence of someone else. You can use this factor to your advantage as you collect documentation.
Consider a situation in which a female employee was told by one of the HR managers that she was not awarded a promotion because the department head stated that they would prefer not to work with a female, for instance. If this employee can get the HR manager to go on record and provide a witness statement, this piece of information will be especially helpful in proving the discrimination and pinpointing exactly which employee is engaging in gender discrimination.
You must speak with an attorney who practices gender discrimination law once you are certain there is a bias in the workplace taking place. An attorney can help you sort through your evidence, apply it to the law, and work to fight on your behalf.