Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

Do female workers get fired more than male workers?

After two years on the job, you get fired. You're one of the few female workers at the company, but you're the only one who they let go. It's a crushing blow to your career.

As you think about it a bit more, you realize that there were just three female employees when you started. Another one got fired about a year before you did. In all that time, none of the male workers lost their jobs, but the company now fired two-thirds of its already very small female workforce.

Is this common? Does it show a clear bias?


Of course, exactly how common this is varies from industry to industry, but some rather concerning studies have noted clear trends. One of them looked at CEOs. What it found was that, even when the companies themselves were doing quite well, female executives got fired 45 percent more often than male executives.

This raises all sorts of questions, such as:

  • Do companies tend to blame CEOs for problems faster when they are female than when they are male?
  • Do female CEOs get fewer second chances when they actually make mistakes?
  • Do some companies fire female CEOs on the assumption that they can't do as good of a job as a male CEO, wanting to replace them?
  • Do women simply face high firing risks when they work hard and climb the corporate ladder?

All of these questions dance around the same issue: Do female CEOs see discrimination in the workplace, making it more likely that they will lose their jobs based on nothing but their gender?

Fewer jobs

Not only do women get fired more often as CEOs, but they also have far fewer jobs to pick from. Male CEOs still dominate the country's biggest, most successful companies -- perhaps in part because female CEOs see such high firing rates.

For instance, when looking at the Fortune 500 companies, reports show that just 26 women ran these companies in late 2018. Earlier in the year, it was even lower, with just 24 women in such positions. Reports noted that it had fallen from 32 women in 2017. Even that higher total shows that it's a very exclusive group.

This also hints at discrimination. As female workers take a bigger and bigger role in many industries, why is it still so hard for them to land the biggest jobs? When they do, why do they get fired so much more often than men?

Your rights

These are important questions to ask in a general sense, but they're especially important if you think you got fired because of your gender. Make sure you understand all of your rights and legal options in California.

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