The beginning of the 21
century brought with it a spate of problems for the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart. The company found itself facing one of the biggest lawsuits ever in the historyof the US. Wal-Mart was charged with discrimination against its female employees incompensation, promotions and job assignments in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) . The plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart mistreated women in various ways: theyearned much less than their male counterparts even when they had more experience than men or performed better than them. In June 2001, a former Wal-Mart employee, Betty Dukes (Dukes),had filed a case accusing the company of 'sex discrimination in promotions, training and pay.Many more employees joined Dukes, and by May 2003, the case had taken the shape of a classaction suit after the plaintiffs asked a Federal Judge to allow the case to proceed on behalf of more than 1.5 million women. Wal-Mart had for long been accused of not treating its femaleemployees in a socially responsible manner. A study of Wal-Mart's own employee data(conducted by some experts hired by the plaintiffs) revealed that women had been discriminated against in many instances. Even the company's internal memos revealed that Wal-Mart was far behind its competitors in promoting women at the workplace.
is asociological termreferring to treatment taken toward or against a person of acertain group that is taken in consideration based on class or category. Gender discriminationrefers to beliefs andattitudesin relation to thegender of a person. It is defined as adverse action
against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. It is the practice of letting a person's sex unfairly become a factor when deciding who receives a job, promotion, or other employment benefit. It most often affects women who feel they have beenunfairly discriminated against in favor of a man.
Types of Gender Discrimination
There are two main categories of gender discrimination: