Gender discrimination is imminent and can not be wished away. One needs to take the matter in hand and the person by his neck! It starts from the moment a girl child is conceived till she survives, whatever be the background, it does not matter.
Women needs to first be able to recognise that there is a bias due to her gender/ marital status / plan of starting a family. Second thing she needs to understand the what kind of organization she is working for. If it’s a startup, then it would be very fair if she ensures that she will not leave middle of her project for any of the reasons mentioned above. But if she is working with MNCs or large corporates then she must be determined to go through the process of reporting any injustice done to her due to her gender/ marital status/ plans of starting a family. She must plan it with her family and along with their support, always communicate via written and traceable mode of communication. Most of the time these issues are brainchild of one particular person in the organisation and it can be easily handled by the HR if they are sensitive enough. One must complain in writing to the Internal Complaint Committee within the first 30 days of the event. If needed proof of the event must be submitted too.
There will be people who will mock women at their own work places or at their client’s workplace. Always, always, always it is best to stop the conversation right there and address the unpleasant issue without being rude or disrespectful. Women normally freeze or ignore the first instance of mocking and that is the seed of all future problems. Offensive people must be told the very first time, that their comment was inappropriate and that they should avoid repeating it in future. Most will never try mocking again. For the others, a written complaint can be sent to the HR of the company via the HR of the lady’s company.
Answering questions is an art that can be learnt and rehearsed for such questions that are personal in nature in a very diplomatic way. One need not get disturbed when someone asks rude questions. One must politely tell them that this question does not belong to the purview of the current conversation.
A very good strategy to be professional always in the beginning of the term. Let people know that you mean business all the time and will not let anyone demoralize you.