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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The previous decade was a tough one for men in the U.S. labor market. The number of women in the workforce grew by more than two million between 2000 and 2010, according to historical data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile the number of men employed during this period remained largely stagnant, growing by just 54,000 in 10 years.

In some ways, one can trace the trend back to the early 1970s, when women started to flock to universities around the country and pursue full-time careers afterward. But according to several economists and labor experts, several other factors have contributed as well, perhaps most notably the loss of manufacturing jobs that typically employ men. As a result, men have seen their footing slip in dozens of professions, ranging from medicine to education.

We combed through the BLS data to find how the gender makeup has changed for more than a hundred jobs by comparing the percentage of men in each occupation in 2000 to the percentage as of last year. The following are the careers where men have experienced the biggest loss compared with women.

11th-biggest change: Postal service mail carriers
In the future, you might want to think twice before referring to workers in this profession as mailmen. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of men employed as mail carriers dropped by 50,000, while the number of women increased by 13,000. As a result, women, who used to account for just 30% of the profession, now make up nearly 40%, and if this trend continues, women could account for nearly half of all mail carriers by the end of this decade.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 69.8%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 62.3%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 7.5 percentage points

10th-biggest change: Medical scientists
Many professions in the science and health care industries have seen a major change in gender distribution, driven in part by the growing number of women who pursue college education and graduate with advanced degrees. Medical scientists, who usually are required to have a Ph.D., typically work in labs or at pharmaceutical companies, according to the BLS.

During the previous decade, the number of women working in this profession increased by 25,000, far outpacing the 5,000 men added to the industry. This means men are now officially in the minority among medical scientists.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 54%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 46.2%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 7.8 percentage points

Ninth-biggest change: Public relations managers
Women have made up the majority of PR managers for years, but recently their lead has grown even stronger. The number of men employed in the industry remained essentially unchanged between 2000 and 2010 (growing by just 2,000 men), while the number of women shot up by 17,000.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 48.5%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 40%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 8.5 percentage points

Eighth-biggest change: Misc. health technologists and technicians
This profession includes health care practitioners who use cutting-edge technology to design treatments for medical conditions. From 2000 through last year the number of men in this profession grew by a modest 16,000, but the number of women grew by 66,000, far outpacing men and further increasing the dominance of women in this industry.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 38.1%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 29.3%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 8.8 percentage points

Seventh-biggest change (tie): Dispatchers
Dispatchers are responsible for scheduling and keeping logs of deliveries to and from the workplace, and unlike many of the professions on our list, this is one that generally does not require a college degree. Still, the number of women employed in this field increased by a healthy 30,000 last decade, whereas the number of men decreased by 25,000.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 48.6%
Percentage Who Were Men in 2010: 39.2%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 9.4 percentage points

Seventh-biggest change (tie): Pressers, textiles, garment and related materials
Those who work in these apparel occupations are responsible for crafting clothes, fabric and other items by hand or machine, but the profession has been on the decline in recent years, shedding some 45,000 positions between 2000 and last year. Women were not immune to this downsizing, but they lost fewer jobs than men, which is why they make up a greater percentage of the industry than they did in 2000.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 43.3%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 33.9%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 9.4 percentage points

Sixth-biggest change: Supervisors of transportation and material moving workers
The BLS data show that women remain hesitant about entering professions that require a high amount of manual labor (including construction and manufacturing), but it is becoming slightly more common for women to manage those who work in these industries, as their growth in this profession proves. Men once made up nearly 90% of these supervisors, but as of last year they held just more than three-quarters of these positions.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 86.7%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 76.8%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 9.9 percentage points

Fifth-biggest change: Writers and authors
No matter what some snooty male authors (cough, V.S. Naipaul) may say, women can certainly write as well as or better than men, and increasingly, many women have chosen to do just that in recent years. Back in 2000, the gender breakdown of writers was close to 50-50, but as of last year, nearly two-thirds of all employed writers were women. In fact, there were 9,000 fewer men employed in this industry by the end of the decade, whereas the number of women skyrocketed by 34,000.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 46.8%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 36.7%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 10.1 percentage points

Fourth-biggest change: Ushers, lobby attendants and ticket takers
If you’ve noticed more women working in movie theaters and concert halls around the country, you’re probably not alone. These venues have gradually shed their male workers while increasing the number of women they employ. In total, the number of men working in this profession dropped by 7,000 during this period, while the number of women increased by about 5,000.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 67.9%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 56.9%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 11.1 percentage points

Third-biggest change: Other education, training and library workers
The idea that women would be drawn to work in education is nothing new, but their growth in this profession, which includes teacher assistants as well as audio-visual specialists who can help teachers with classroom presentations, is particularly striking. The profession added 9,000 men to its ranks last decade, and a whopping 54,000 women.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 35.3%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 23.7%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 11.6 percentage points

Second-biggest change: Tax preparers
If you ever thought women were worse at managing money than men, the data certainly prove otherwise. Women have come to dominate the tax preparation industry, with more than 70% of all employees in this profession being women last year, compared to just half that a decade earlier. Indeed, the industry lost 15,000 men during this period, but gained some 27,000 women.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 48.9%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 29.2%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 19.7 percentage points

Biggest change: Veterinarians
Men have lost more ground in the veterinarian profession than in any other in the U.S. labor market, according to the BLS data. In 2000, men accounted for nearly 70% of the industry, but that percentage dropped significantly throughout the decade and now men are officially in the minority. In total, the number of men employed in the industry plummeted by 10,000 during this time, while the number of women veterinarians increased by 23,000.
Percentage of male workers in 2000: 69.5%
Percentage of male workers in 2010: 43.8%
Decline in percentage of male workers: 25.7 percentage points

 http://www.thestreet.com/story/11160146/3/men-not-at-work-jobs-women-are-taking-over.html

LONDON (AFP) – Plans to raise the state pension age for women have passed their stage on the way to becoming law, despite cross-party calls for a rethink.

Women can currently claim a state pension from the age of 60, while men must wait until they are 65.

But under the government’s Pensions Bill, the entitlement age for women would rise to 65 by 2018, and then to 66 for both sexes by 2020.

Critics from all parties say the changes would be unfair on up to 500,000 women in their late fifties, who have been given as little as five years’ notice that they will have to work longer than planned.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne branded the timetable for the changes as “a proposal to single out a group of 500,000 of our fellow citizens — all of them women — and say to them, ‘You know your plans for the future? Well you can put those in the bin’.”

But MPs voted to give the Pensions Bill a second reading in the House of Commons, by 302 votes to 232.

Opening the debate, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith warned MPs that delaying the move to 66 until 2022 would cost £10 billion.

“Responsible government is not always easy government,” he said, insisting that the plans would go ahead.

“It involves commitment, tough decisions and a willingness to stay the course.

“We will not change from that, we will stay the course. We will secure our children’s future.

“I recognise we need to implement this fairly and manage the transition smoothly.”

He said a “relatively small number of women” would be particularly affected and said he was “willing to work to get this transition right”.

More than 170 MPs, including both Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers, have signed a Commons motion calling for a rethink.

Ros Altmann, the director general of over-50s organisation Saga, has warned that ministers could face a costly legal challenge if they do not moderate the proposals.

“Ministers must listen to reason on this issue,” she said.

“The current plans are unfair and may, indeed, be illegal in public law terms, since they clearly do not give women adequate notice.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110621/wl_uk_afp/britaineconomylabourpensions_20110621072517

The women who sought to sue Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) for gender bias on behalf of 1.5 million co-workers said they will press their fight against the nation’s largest private employer in smaller lawsuits in lower courts and claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday said the women failed to prove the world’s largest retailer had a nationwide policy that led to gender discrimination. The court deprived them of the leverage a nationwide suit brings, both in pooled legal resources and a potential multibillion-dollar verdict, forcing them to pursue claims on their own.

“When I go back to work tomorrow, I’m going to let them know we are still fighting,” said Christine Kwapnoski, an assistant manager at a Sam’s Club in Concord, California. She had accused a male manager of yelling at female employees and telling her to “doll up” by wearing more makeup and dressing better while working on a loading dock.

Wal-Mart may now face thousands of lawsuits nationwide and claims of discrimination before federal agencies as plaintiffs’ lawyers fan out to courts across the country to file new complaints on behalf of members of the failed group suit.

Kwapnoski and others pressing their suit claimed they were victimized by Wal-Mart’s practice of letting local managers make subjective decisions about pay and promotions. More than 100 employees filed sworn statements saying they were paid less and given fewer opportunities for promotion than male colleagues.

Women seeking advancement were required to commit in writing to overnight shifts for two years, while men were only required to rotate through such positions on a six-month basis, one former worker claimed.

Retail for Housewives

(For a related story on the Supreme Court ruling’s impact on class action litigation, click here. To read a story on how it may affect defenses against employee claims, click here. For a story on how the decision may affect company bias policies, click here.)

When one woman inquired about the higher wages paid to men who had the same or less seniority, she was told that “retail is for housewives who just need to earn extra money,” and “he has a family to support,” according to one declaration by a former Wal-Mart employee in Florida.

Wal-Mart said yesterday that the high court ruling “effectively ends this class-action lawsuit.”

“As the majority made clear, the plaintiffs’ claims were worlds away from showing a companywide pay and promotion policy,” Wal-Mart, led by Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke, said in a statement.

Wal-Mart rose 25 cents to $53.29 in New York Stock Exchange trading.

The workers “provide no convincing proof of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority. All nine justices voted to overturn a lower-court ruling that approved the class action, with four of them saying they would have ordered further proceedings.

Unbalanced Promotions

Betty Dukes, another lead plaintiff who began working at a Pittsburg, California-based Wal-Mart store in 1994, said she noticed early in her career that “it was not balanced” when it came to promotions.

“The men at my store were being promoted more often than the woman for the same positions, and many of those positions were never openly posted,” she said in a telephone interview. Promotion opportunities were disclosed by management, which was predominantly male, she said.

Filed in 2001, the suit aimed to cover every woman who worked at the retailer’s Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club’s stores at any point since December 1998, including those not hired until years after the suit was filed. A federal appeals court had let the suit go forward on behalf of women who were working at Wal-Mart at the time the suit was filed.

Twenty Companies

More than 20 companies supported Wal-Mart at the Supreme Court, including Intel Corp. (INTC), Altria Group Inc. (MO), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and General Electric Co. (GE)

The Supreme Court ruling limits the ability of plaintiffs’ lawyers to win multimillion-dollar damages through a single lawsuit, particularly against employers. Units of Cigna Corp. (CI), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Bayer AG (BAYN), Toshiba Corp. (6502), Publicis Group SA, Deere & Co. (DE) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) all face gender discrimination complaints that seek class-action status.

Four justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — said they would have returned the case to a lower court and let the workers try to press a class action using a different legal theory.

The lead attorneys for the plaintiffs are Joseph Sellers of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and Brad Seligman of the Impact Fund, which describes itself as a foundation that handles public interest litigation.

Aggrieved Workers

They said they would seek a way around the Supreme Court ruling, moving ahead with claims on behalf of aggrieved workers, either as individuals or as part of smaller groups.

“This case is not over,” said Seligman. “Wal-Mart is not off the hook. There are thousands of claims of discrimination that remain to be filed.”

The case was one of the most closely watched Supreme Court business disputes in years, in part because the justices hadn’t looked at the standards for certifying a class-action suit in more than a decade.

Women’s advocates called on Congress to enact new legislation protecting the rights of female workers in light of the high court decision.

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has assisted Wal- Mart in its efforts to systematically dole out promotions and pay raises on the basis of sex,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women.

Washington Protest

At a protest against the ruling today in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, about 100 demonstrators called for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation intended to address pay inequity issues tied to gender.

Allison Grady, a protester with the Feminists Majority Foundation, said the demonstrators “wanted to be able to show that we were standing with the women of Wal-Mart.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney yesterday declined to comment on the case, while saying President Barack Obama supports proposed federal legislation to ensure pay equity for women in the workplace.

“We still are determined to go forward to present our case in court,” said Dukes, the lead named plaintiff in the case. “We believe we will prevail there.”

She and her co-plaintiffs alleged the world’s biggest retailer discriminated against them on the basis of their sex by denying them equal pay or promotions, in violation of 1964 civil rights law. The court didn’t rule the company discriminated.

Stephanie Odle, 39, who initiated the lawsuit after being fired from a Sam’s Club in 1999, said yesterday was a “great day” for big business.

“It shows how the legal system works,” Odle said in a telephone interview. “But I know in my heart that I made a difference. I didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but the minute that we filed the lawsuit, we started getting changes in pay and promotions.”

Trumped-Up Charge

Odle was working as an assistant manager in a Sam’s Club in Lubbock, Texas, when she was fired.

“They trumped up a charge and terminated me to give the job to a man,” she claimed.

Odle now owns her own business in Norman, Oklahoma. She was one of the original six plaintiffs who pursued the class action against Wal-Mart. She was dropped as a named plaintiff after a lower court decided all the class representatives needed to be from California.

Odle said she worked for Sam’s Club for eight years, in stores in several states.

“I’ve seen the discrimination, no matter what state you’re in, no matter what region,” she said. “I gave up my right to sue individually” while the class action was pending, Odle said. “Now I go back and sue them individually.”

‘Range of Options’

“We had prepared for a whole range of options,” attorney Sellers said in an interview. “We began weeks ago preparing thousands of charges to be filed with the EEOC,” referring to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which pursues workplace claims on behalf of employees.

Lawyers for the woman will try to pursue “some more narrowly drawn, tailored classes,” the lawyer said. “The case becomes splintered. You end up with multiple cases where Wal- Mart’s practices are being challenged.”

Federal lawsuits and claims before the EEOC won’t be stopped by the statute of limitations, which places a time limit on lawsuits, he said, because it was delayed while the proposed class action was pending.

Sellers and co-counsel Seligman said they would be pursuing individual actions against the company, and possibly smaller class actions.

They may also go back to the federal court in San Francisco where the claim was originally filed, seeking a narrowly drawn case of California plaintiffs, he said, and bringing lawsuits with different arguments in different jurisdictions.

“This will be a multi-front sort of battle,” he said. “There are a number of options still available — none of them are as efficient” as a nationwide class action.

Contingency Fee

Since class action litigation is prosecuted on a contingency fee basis — lawyers get paid when the client wins – – lawyers for the plaintiffs said they will continue to finance the litigation.

“We’re in it to see this thing to a successful conclusion,” Sellers said, adding that $3 million in expenses have already been paid. “Millions of dollars in attorneys fees have been expended and we haven’t been paid a penny.”

The cost of defending thousands of lawsuits in hundreds of courthouses may be expensive for Wal-Mart as well.

“Wal-Mart may regret the day” it sought a rejection of class certification, Seligman said. “Wal-Mart is not off the hook.”

The case is Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, 10-00277, U.S. Supreme Court (Washington).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-21/wal-mart-women-vow-to-press-bias-fight-in-lower-court-u-s-rights-agency.html

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government hoped to increase the number of women in its workforce by 55% come 2015, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Musa said better access to higher learning has helped to empower more women and they has been seen to move to higher-paying jobs.

“Currently, women make up 47% of the workforce in Sabah, as compared to 30.8% in 2000.

“Flexible working hours is one of several issues discussed at the government’s Strategic Reforms Initiatives laboratories, aimed at encouraging more women to take part in the Economic Transformation Programme,” he said at the centennial anniversary of the International Women’s Day celebration and Parent’s Day recently.

Musa said he also hoped to see an increased representation of women in the local business scene.

“Women have proven to be good money managers and are generally better at repaying loans hence they can be successful when they venture into business.

“In Sabah, the women are just as able and have demostrated their ability to play a leading role. We have a number of women as elected representatives, in senior government posts and even a minister,” he said.

Musa was happy that there were a number of successful women in the fields of property, hospitality, wellness and pharmaceuticals.

He also acknowledged women had taken leading roles in NGOs, professional and charitable organisations.

“Their innate multi-tasking talents demand respect. I would like to take this opportunity to call on women-led organisations to reach out to those in rural areas who may need guidance in becoming effective players in the state’s development.

“I hope they will also offer help to women and children who fall victim to domestic abuse and other forms of violence, including human trafficking,” he said.

Later, Musa announced that the state would contribute RM100,000 to sponsor the International Women’s Day Celebration here.

“It is fitting that we take the opportunity to celebrate the countless achievements of women in Malaysia.

“In today’s world, women are considered co-developers of a nation and achieving gender equality is necessary in the social, economic and political sphere,” he said.

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/5/30/southneast/8783339&sec=southneast

In the latest example of how difficult it has become for women in their late twenties and early thirties to find an eligible man in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, a dating agency has started sending busloads of single women out to country towns, where the ratio of men to women is far more favourable.

The weekend tours, named Thank Goodness He’s A Country Boy, involve eight hours of intensive speed dating at a country pub, where lonely farmers are introduced to single city girls.

Brie Petersen came up with the idea after visiting friends in the rural town of Mungindi in Queensland. During a night at the pub, the owner told her that he regularly received letters from single women in Brisbane and Sydney asking him to set them up with farmers. Similar pleas were being sent to the post office, he said.

“These women obviously needed help, it was simply a matter of putting the two groups in the same place,” Miss Petersen said.

The first tour, which took 50 Sydney women to the rural town of Tamworth was a success, with an “85 per cent pick up rate”, she said. More trips for the single women of Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are on the cards.

The tours are the latest symptoms of the chronic gender unbalance in metropolitan and rural areas, which has already spawned a highly popular reality television programme, The Farmer Wants A Wife. The programme matches single women with farmers from far-flung parts of the country and after six series it has generated four marriages and three babies.

Bernard Salt, demographer and author of Man Drought, said the programme and the tours were so successful because over the past four decades young women had fled Australia’s rural towns and communities.

“The farmer does want a wife because there’s no single sheilas in the nearby towns,” he said. While women in the 1960s would marry a local man after finishing school, they now head off to the city in search of work, leaving the men behind, he said.

“As soon as that 18 year old girl leaves she upsets the gender balance in the town, because there are not enough marriageable women, and she also upsets the gender balance in Sydney because there is an oversupply of women in the inner city suburbs.

“The problem is writ large in Australia which is sparsely populated and vast so you get a shift like this and it makes a huge impact.” But for 29-year-old Sydney woman Bianca Wignall, one of Ms Petersen’s clients, it is a matter of quality, as well as quantity.

“Country men are more gentlemanly, they hold the door open for you and if they see you with an empty glass they will be the first to offer to get you a drink, they are more attentive.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/8540727/Australians-single-city-women-forced-to-look-for-love-in-the-country.html

Women who do routine jobs such as cleaners are almost six times more likely to die from alcohol abuse than women in better paid roles, according to new government research.

The report by the Office for National Statistics found cleaners, sewing machinists and bar staff face 5.7 times greater risk of fatal liver disease, mental disorders and poisoning than doctors and lawyers.

This was despite richer women downing almost twice as much alcohol, the study finds.

Meanwhile men who worked as van drivers and labourers have a three and a half times bigger threat of meeting a similar fate than than those in higher managerial and professional work.

The new report is the first analysis of the social inequalities in adult alcohol-related mortality in England and Wales in the last decade as measured by the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC).

A year ago an ONS report found professional and managerial women are downing almost twice as much alcohol as the lower paid.

They are drinking an average of 10.2 units a week – more than a bottle of wine – compared with 6.5 units for manual workers.

Statistician Myer Glickman, whose team compiled the latest findings, said: ‘They are an apparent contradiction but it could be down to a number of factors.

‘One could be there are other things affecting people’s health such as whether they are smokers or have a poorer diet which may make them more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol.

‘Also patterns of drinking may be different, such as binge drinking on particular types or brands of alcohol rather than drinking similar or even greater amounts but over a longer period of time.

‘The greater difference between male and female social groups could also be down to the fact that professional women in general are particularly advantaged when it comes to good health.’

The most alcohol related deaths occurred in males aged between 50 and 54 with routine jobs (52.2 per 100,000). For women it was for those in routine work and age 45 to 49 (42 per 100,000).

For the less advantaged groups, alcohol-related mortality peaked in middle age and then declined, whereas for managers and professionals, the risk of mortality increased steadily the older they got.

The report said this means alcohol-related deaths in the less advantaged groups tend to be younger as well as being more common.

The study also found the number of alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales doubled between 1991 and 2008, rising from 3,415 (6.4 per 100,000 population) in 1991 to 7,344 (12.4 per 100,000) in 2008. But the most recent data in 2009 indicated a drop in alcohol related deaths of 3.3 per cent, to 7,099.

Regionally, the highest mortality rate for men in all occupied classes combined was found in the North West of England (26.9 per 100,000) followed by the North East (23.7), the West Midlands (23.6) and London (21.3).

These areas all had significantly higher mortality rates for all occupied classes combined than England and Wales as a whole, where the figure was 19 per 100,000.

The lowest mortality rate was in the East of England (12.4 per 100,000), half of that seen in the North West. The second lowest was the South West (15.2) followed by the East Midlands and the South East, both 15.5 per 100,000. Similar regional patterns were observed for women, but with lower overall death rates.

Previous survey results have suggested that less advantaged social groups drink less in total than the more advantaged groups.

Therefore the explanation for these inequalities is not a simple one, and may be associated with differences in the detailed patterns of drinking among different groups or with the influence of underlying factors other than alcohol consumption, said the report.

Alcohol-related deaths include only these causes defined as being most directly due to alcohol consumption, such as alcoholic liver disease (accounting for approximately two-thirds of all alcohol-related deaths), fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver, (18 per cent), mental disorders (9 per cent) and accidental alcohol poisoning (3 per cent).

It does not include other diseases where alcohol has been shown to contribute to the risk of death, such as cancers of the mouth, oesophagus and liver. It also excludes deaths from accidents and violence where alcohol may have played a part.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1390829/Women-low-paid-jobs-times-likely-die-alcohol-abuse.html#ixzz1NVlNd5j5

A class action suit alleging that Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals discriminated against women employees has been expanded to include female pharmaceutical sales representatives and all women in Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care unit — groups who weren’t originally included in a gender bias complaint filed earlier this year against the drug giant.

In an amended complaint filed Wednesday in federal court in New Jersey, lawyers for the women said the sales representatives were paid less and not promoted as often as male peers while the women in the consumer care division were sexually harassed by Bayer executives and the company ignored their requests for help.

The original complaint, filed in March in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., by six current and former female Bayer HealthCare employees on behalf of other women at the company, seeks $100 million in lost salary and benefits. It alleges Bayer executives were openly hostile to women — especially pregnant women, working mothers and women who took maternity leaves.

Bayer HealthCare, based in New Jersey, is a division of Bayer Corp., a German company with its U.S. headquarters in Robinson.

In a statement, Bayer denied the allegations, pledged to defend itself and said it is “committed strongly to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal treatment for all employees.”

In the amended complaint, Natalie Celske, a senior sales consultant, said that in 2009 she was replaced in a district trainer position based in Boise, Idaho, by a male colleague who had lower sales results and lower overall performance. When she asked a manager why, he replied that the male candidate was “more into [the man’s] career path, not yours.”

Since then, the male supervisor has declined to consider her for any promotions and exhibits hostile behavior to her compared with how he treats male employees, the complaint said.

In a portion of the complaint that broadens the gender bias allegations to the consumer care division, Vera Santangelo, a financial specialist in that unit, said that despite several exceptional performance awards, she received less pay than male colleagues and was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting the harassment.

Ms. Santangelo alleged a senior attorney for Bayer HealthCare repeatedly made comments about her body and her attire and once made an inappropriate comment to her during an elevator ride.

She sought help from an on-site counselor and reported the incident to a company hotline, Bayer’s corporate ombudsman and an official in human resources, the complaint said.

When the harassment did not stop, according to the complaint, she confided in her manager who “dismissed or diminished her concerns and … made it seem like the sexual harassment she was experiencing was her fault or her problem.”

In a subsequent performance review, the complaint said, her manager said she was “too emotional” and threatened to lower her rating, which could prevent her from receiving a pay raise and make her ineligible for future promotions. She is currently on a short-term medical leave related to stress caused by the harassment, the complaint said.