LONDON, March 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Women continue to suffer sexism and gender discrimination in the workplace despite legislation and decades of so called change, concludes a survey into how they are treated in the work environment.
As the organisers of International Women's Day 2017 (8 March 2017) call for a more inclusive, gender equal world, a survey of 1,500 women conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BE Offices, the leading independent serviced offices provider, demonstrates that many women continue to be overlooked for promotion, are paid less than male colleagues and still suffer the indignity of sexist comments.
Covering a wide age range and seniority as well as both full-time and part-time employees, the poll highlighted the disparity between men and women that continues to exist in the British work environment.
Almost a quarter (23.47%) of women reported they were paid less than male colleagues while 30.8% said they had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace up from 27.4% in 2014 when BE conducted a similar survey.
Of those respondents who had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, 25.53% said they had been overlooked for a job because they were of child bearing age and a further 21.55% said they didn't get a job because they had children.
Alarmingly, 23.9% commented that they were overlooked for promotion because of their sex and a third had been subjected to sexist comments.
One of the key issues for many women is being able to juggle their career with parenting and keeping home. Almost four out of 10 women (37%) commented that they felt pressured to juggle work and children while a similar level of respondents (40.4%) said they were under pressure to balance work and homemaking. This shows a marked improvement over previous surveys when in 2011, 50.7% reported they were under pressure to juggle children and their career and 49% in 2014.
Interestingly, the pressure on women in the workplace to look attractive appears to be declining sharply. In 2011, 54.4% of respondents said they were under pressure to juggle work and their appearance. This declined to 43.4% in 2014, and virtually halved to 22.5% in this survey.
Another positive finding of the 2016 survey is that fewer women now feel they had to adopt the traits of male counterparts to be taken seriously. This has fallen from 27.7% in 2011 to only 18.8% today.
It also appears that women feel more confident in themselves today than they did six years ago. They do not believe they have to change the way they act to get ahead in the workplace. In 2011, 45.8% of those polled said they had lowered their voice in the same way Maggie Thatcher famously did to be taken seriously in a male dominated environment. Today only 7% felt this was a necessary tactic.
Similarly, those feigning confidence to get ahead has fallen from 64.9% to only 26.3% while only 16.27% felt the need to dress "more powerfully" compared to 56.7% six years ago. Likewise, respondents reporting the need to dress more sexily fell from 26.9% in 2011 to only 3.7% today.
Perhaps astonishingly, women themselves are susceptible to employing gender discrimination when hiring staff. 31.3% reported that they would be reluctant to hire women who have children, up from 25.3% in 2014, while 27.9% said they would be reluctant to employ women of a child bearing age, which has changed little over the past six years.
Women are even harder on those they feel dress provocatively, with 61.2% saying they would be reluctant to hire them compared to 52.8% in 2011. Equally, 40% responded by saying they would be reluctant to hire women who they deemed to be too confident, marginally up from 38.8 in 2011
More than two-thirds of the women polled (66.93%) believe the Government does not do enough to enable them to adequately juggle the pressures of childcare and work. At the same time, 38.5% commented that their existing workplace does not provide enough flexibility for them to manage work and childcare.
However when respondents were given the opportunity to freely comment on their treatment in the workplace, the shocking level of discrimination and sexism becomes apparent. Contrary to the Equality Act of 2010, many respondents said that during interviews they had been asked directly whether they were planning a family.
David Saul, Managing Director of BE Offices, commented: "This survey underlines the continuing level of sexual discrimination endured by many women in the workplace. It is frankly depressing that this degree of sexism continues to thrive in the 21st Century British workplace, but at least things seem to be moving in the right direction, albeit at a slow pace. It is also clear that the Government is neither doing enough to stamp out gender discrimination or to provide support to talented women that want to juggle a career and motherhood."
BE employs 81 females and 44 males, of which 12 females and 11 males are of senior management or director level.
For full details on the survey, please go to http://www.beoffices.com
Notes to Editors:
- BE Offices ("BE") is a unique vertically integrated serviced offices company that has been established for almost 25 years.
- BE was founded by its present Managing Director and Finance Director, David Saul and Simon Rusk.
- It is highly regarded and is recognised within its sector as one of the leading providers of serviced office space.
- BE has won numerous awards for its customer service - six times winner of Business Centre of the Year - and has been recognised by Property Week in 2016 as being one of the best places to work in property, ranking for seven consecutive years in the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to work for.
- BE operates a total of 16 business centres providing a total of 851,000 square feet of business space and 13,600 workstations.
- Over the past two years BE has completed approximately £70m of sale and leasebacks, the cash from which has been used to reduce debt and fund future acquisitions.
- In June 2016 BE acquired a portfolio of four centres from Regus taking the company into the West End for the first time.
- The majority of BE's centres are in London - from Paddington in the West to Canary Wharf in the East - with further centres in Wembley, Reading, Basingstoke, Bristol and Milton Keynes.
- Further expansion is planned over the medium term.
- In addition to the serviced office operation BE Group companies also includes security, cleaning, facilities management, development, IT services and asset management.
- BE is unusual among serviced office operators in that it has a high degree of property expertise within its senior management and Board. As a result the company is able to undertake its own redevelopments when opportunities present themselves.
SOURCE BE Offices