Women feel they have to dress 'sexier' at work

Nine in ten female workers pressured to dress 'more provocatively' by their bosses, claims survey


Women feel the need to dress "sexier" at work to protect their careers, says to a new survey.

The poll of 2,000 employees, carried out by employment law firm Slater and Gordon, found 90 per cent of female respondents felt pressure to dress "more provocatively", says the Daily Mirror.

Almost one in five said they felt more attention was paid to their appearance than that of their male colleagues and many said they had faced direct pressure to change how they dress.

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Some 28 per cent said they had been told changing their appearance would be "better for business", 13 per cent claimed comments from senior colleagues had let to them showing more flesh and seven per cent said bosses had urged them to wear high heels to be "more appealing".

In contrast, 48 per cent of men felt their dress code was clearly defined and less likely to draw comment and 54 per cent said their appearance had never been commented on.

Josephine Van Lierop, of Slater and Gordon, said: "Under current UK employment law, employers cannot treat one person less favourably because of their gender, but there is no legislation to prevent employers from treating men and women differently in relation to dress code.

"However, in 2016 there is absolutely no expectation that women in business should wear make-up or high heels in order to be smartly dressed. Imposing this expectation on women only is arguably unlawful sex discrimination."

The small percentage of men who said they had faced pressure to change their appearance were mostly asked to cover piercings or a visible tattoo.

However, separate findings from workplace dispute resolution service Acas warned employers may be missing out on key talent because of a prejudice against body art in particular.

Despite the fact that nearly a fifth of UK adults have tattoos, research carried out by academics at Kings College London suggests they are still considered unacceptable in several of the 33 professions surveyed.

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