Firms Told 'Tackle Sexism At Work'

Sexism in the Workplace


Companies in the UK have been criticised for not doing more to stamp out sexism in the workplace after a report revealed 30,000 women lose their jobs every year for becoming pregnant.

The Fawcett Society's Sexism and the City report said sexism is "rife" almost 40 years after legislation to outlaw discrimination against women was drawn up.

The study shows only one in 10 directors of leading companies are women while two out of three low paid workers across the UK are female.

The society, which campaigns for women's rights, also claims motherhood often carries a "penalty" in the workplace.

The Government has been urged tackle the UK's "destructive" long hours culture by ending its opt-out of a European working time directive and extending the right of work flexibility.

Dr Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society, said: "Behind the conspicuous wealth of the City lies a hidden story of disadvantage and discrimination affecting women at every level of business - from the bathroom to the boardroom.

"Women have the right to dignity and respect in their workplaces and in their daily lives. It is time for women and men to stand up against the sexist culture of objectifying women that has gripped our society."

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James Wright from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "The Fawcett Society report highlights the dual problems of sexual harassment in the workplace and the detriment those with primary childcare responsibilities, predominantly women, can face in their careers.

"A non-discriminatory work environment is not just a legal requirement - research shows companies with the best records in this area are the most efficient and ultimately profitable."