1. Women Lacking Confidence
A common misconception and workplace stereotype is the idea that women lack confidence within their positions at work. Due to historical discrimination and sexism, women were initially viewed as meek and overly emotional. While times have progressed and women have proven that they can fulfill any job position that a man can, sadly, workplace discrimination regarding gender still exists. This shows explicitly through expectations of confidence. A man is expected to be prepared for everything at work, and proud of what he does at his job; however, women are expected to complete their work and move to the next project without confidently admiring their job achievements with pride. Women are just as able to celebrate their work wins as men, and confidence varies by individual, not by gender.
2. Women’s Attire
Another workplace stereotype surrounding women is the idea that women are held to a higher standard of professionalism when it comes to dressing up for work. While everyone, no matter what gender, is expected to come to work in proper attire, women are typically viewed as having to be dressed and looking close to perfection every single day. This is due to past historical expectations of women that have always been and will continue to be unrealistic.
Sadly in any setting, there will almost always be someone who makes fun of or makes jokes about another individual. This is a common workplace stereotype that you will most likely come across during your time in the workforce. The jokes may regard how someone is doing on their designated job assignments, or relate to their personal life. However, these so-called jokes are not funny and often hurtful to those in your work environment. If you or any of your fellow employee peers are joked about, be sure to put a stop to it as soon as possible before the jokes progress into a worse form of workplace harassment.
4. Name Calling
Similar to jokes, another common workplace stereotype that may arise for some employees in any job position is name-calling. These names tend to revolve around a specific aspect of someone’s personal life or something they have done at work. An example of this is in the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” when the character Gerald is called different names throughout each season of the show because no employee cares to remember his real name. Every employee deserves to be respected equally in the workplace and should be called what they wish to be.
Although this would not commonly be thought of on a workplace stereotypes list, ageism is sadly a regular occurrence in the workforce. Due to an increased amount of younger people getting higher standard jobs, older and more experienced individuals have been found to stereotype the younger employees for being less educated in their position. While younger workers may have less experience in a specific role due to working for a shorter amount of time, age does not define ability.
Although society has become more and more accepting regarding an individual’s sexuality, problems with co-workers around the topic of sexual preference still remain. Whether employees joke about others’ sexuality or label them based on this specific trait, this is a common form of workplace stereotyping. A sad but everpresent example of this is when a lesbian or bi woman works in a male-dominated workplace and is fetishized for her sexuality.
7. Fewer Promotions for Women
While the wage gap is still a public debate amongst society, fewer individuals discuss the issue that women receive fewer promotions within the workforce, simply because they are female.
8. Education Shaming
This workplace stereotype is not commonly thought of, however, just as present as the others amongst this list. After receiving a job, many employees are shamed due to where they received their credentials and qualifications for their position. While the idea that college is not necessary for everyone to attend to succeed in life is growing, employees within any business should also not compare what university they went to with their fellow employees. If one person attends an Ivy League, and another attends Arizona State, there should be no unequal treatment between the two. Both people got their job for a reason, and from the employer’s perspective, both must have been qualified enough to fulfill their designated roles.
Like any other setting, people tend to form cliques with others that they have the same interest with, or like the personality of. Although work is a professional setting, no matter where you work, you will most likely find yourself surrounded by inner cliques. This might make it hard to work on group projects if your workplace calls for that. Cliques form a negative stigma against those not within it and can affect the entire staff of wherever you are employed. Employees should try their hardest to avoid cliques and focus on the productivity and friendliness of the staff as a whole.
10. Political Views
Political views can have a harsh impact on any social setting. However, these personal opinions have no place being discussed within a workplace. Although political views may come up in a business setting, employees should try their hardest to avoid this topic of conversation. Not only may some individuals find others’ views offensive, however, the discussion of political views may also lead to the ostracization of specific workers.
11. The Annoying Boss
Whether it is your first job or you are an experienced worker, you might have workplace stereotypes of your own. One of these commonly includes the “annoying boss.” Due to the way media presents the workforce, many employees have preconceived negative thoughts surrounding their employer, regardless of if they are an effective, fair boss. This workplace stereotype can not only cause problems between workers and employers. However, it may also harm your ability to enjoy work. I encourage going into your job with an open mind before making any assumptions regarding your boss, simply because they have a higher position than you. This will make both you and your employer’s jobs easier.
12. Sexual Harassment
While the Me Too movement is everpresent in our society, sexual harassment sadly still happens within the workforce amongst many individuals. From a small business restaurant to major corporations, sexual harassment is a significant workplace issue to watch out for as an employee. If you feel uncomfortable due to your employer, fellow workers, or others in your business, be sure to report it immediately. Sexual harassment should not be a common aspect of work, and no employee should have to deal with the possible lifelong repercussions that follow it.
Have you endured any workplace stereotypes? If so, share your story in the comments below!
My name is Aja Ward. I am from Southern California, but I currently attend college at Hofstra University in New York. I am a freshman journalism major, and currently exploring a minor in design. I am involved in my school’s radio station 88.7 FM WRHU which is the #1 non-commercial radio station in the nation, and one of my biggest passions is fashion.