I think that I can say with confidence that I have had to deal with discrimination that affected my prospects, and that that discrimination was based sometimes completely on my gender.
I know that I got my first job mostly because I was a woman, who happened to be going to a particular school (a women's college) where this company happened to recruit. It was a midwestern commodities giant that recruited mostly from the middle of the country at state universities. Because of family connections with Mount Holyoke and Wellesley, they sent recruiters to those schools in large part to beef up the female presence in their merchandising offices.
My next job I got through family connections myself. I went directly to the man who was running the company my grandfather had founded. Walter Bowen died heroically during World War II, and his widow was given the short end of the stick by some of his father's heirs but the foundation of many an inheritance was made off Grandpa's invention, the basket grapple. When I came to town asking for a job, the man who was the son of my great grandfather's plant manager deigned to give me a job. As a receptionist. As he said, "I'll let you work here until you get married." Fortunately for all concerned, his VP saw immediately that I was being wasted and arranged for me to become a domestic sales representative. The pay was better in International sales, but the Aggie Good Ol' Boy Manure Ceiling was firmly in place and it was under a different VP. On paper, I was fully qualified. Off paper, I lacked two qualifications, a degree from A&M and a penis. In any event, the oil bust hit just as I was about to be moved to the warehouse and inventory control, a key advance that would have enabled me to learn more about the business. I took every Saturday and overtime opportunity I could for the extra pay and the good will.
I left when I got a job offer with a financial corporation in Washington, D.C. I got it because a friend of mine from the agribusiness days thought of me. I wasn't her first choice because I didn't have an MBA. But her (female) boss was insisting on a woman for the position and the same (Jewish) boss hadn't liked the fully qualified candidate with the Teutonic last name and the ever-so faint accent. I also have a German last name but I give off that California-Shiksa-Elite-Eastern-Educated Aura that employers seem unable to resist.
For the first six months at this plum job, I totally sucked. I was so bad, my "friend" hired a senior trader (a man) as an added layer to our group because he understood the business better. This was a great thing for me. I was learning rapidly now, and he was in charge of a huge and risky position that was going against him. In the hour of crisis, he was fired, but he was fired for lacking the qualities that I had: courage and objectivity. I remember the desperation in my friend's/boss's eyes when she asked if I could take over. I said sure, and over the course of the week, I bought back the position. It was such a huge position that even small trades pushed the market away from us. My team was composed of the account manager at Saloman Brothers (female) and the floor trader (male.) One of the things they had to watch out for was any indication that competing traders had got wind of what we were doing. If anyone had added up the amounts that Saloman was doing, they would have realized how vulnerable we were.
When the analysis of my trades for that week were done, the people at Saloman were open-mouthed. I had done much better than the average price traded that week and saved my company a huge amount of money.
I got promoted. And I think I got promoted because of what I could do, not because of the color of my skin or the school I went to or because I am the bearer of two X chromosomes.
Hillary, Hillary. Knowing that feminists are congenitally devoid of humor, I'll help HRC with a tip from a pro: Get a licensing deal with some Chinese manufacturer for some pliable plastic Hillary dolls, call 'em "Hildos" and send a case to Rush Limbaugh with a note that says, "Hear you're have trouble in the romance department. I'm here to help when the Viagra let's you down."