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Women of color in New York may face discrimination in STEM fields

Women of color in New York remain a largely underrepresented group in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. In fact, they particularly face challenges in planetary science and astronomy due to race and gender. Fortunately, those in New York who experience discrimination in the workplace have the right to take legal action.

According to a recent study, of the more than 470 planetary scientists and astronomers surveyed, a total of 40 percent of women of color felt unsafe at work because of their sex or gender. In addition, 28 percent felt unsafe as a result of their race. In fact, concerning professional events, 18 percent of these individuals, and 12 percent of Caucasian women, skipped out on events due to concerns about their safety.

Examples of negative experiences that women of color have had in the workplace are hearing co-workers question their physical ability or commenting on their being feminine or masculine. Such negative experiences in the workplace can have a major impact on women's lives from a professional standpoint. For instance, women end up missing out on work opportunities due to their loss of a sense of security. As a result, few minorities and women enter the field of science.

If minorities or women in New York end up being mistreated at work due to race or gender, they have the right to file discrimination claims against the employers that allegedly perpetrated the discrimination. An understanding of what facts must be proved is essential to prevail in this type of case. Receiving a promotion or receiving back wages are among the possible outcomes of a successfully litigated claim.

Source: usatoday.com, "Women of color in STEM face greater risks of gender, racial harassment at work", Sydney C. Greene, July 14, 2017

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