Stereotypes about race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other personal characteristics shape how people perceive, interact with, and make decisions about others. For decades, the way groups of people have been portrayed by the media, popular culture, and public officials has led to biases—often unconscious—that can result in discrimination against women and people of color.

What’s at Stake?

Stereotypes damage people at every stage of their lives—from schools to workplaces and even medical offices. They can cause teachers and school officials to discipline Black children at disproportionate rates. They can leave Asians invisible or as the butt of jokes. They can cause emotional and physical harm to transgender people. And they can limit women’s access to higher paying jobs, reproductive health care, and much more.

 

What’s NWLC Doing?

We advocate for anti-discrimination laws in schools, workplaces, and health care and ensure that these laws and policies are enforced—from Title IX to the non-discrimination section of the Affordable Care Act. We’re working to make sure girls have the same athletic opportunities as boys. We’re ensuring that employers and educators accommodate pregnant workers and students. We’re protecting people from sex discrimination in health programs like hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies. And we’re working to shine a light on the achievements of women and girls of color.