• Clodagh Meaney

1 in 3 women told by their employers to dress 'sexier' for video calls

Sexism is still alive and well, even during a global pandemic.

Research has found that 1 in 3 women have been told by their employers to dress 'sexier' and wear make-up for video calls.

It comes as the global COVID-19 health pandemic has led to people from all over the world working remotely from home in line with safety measures.

The most common ways in which management justified by comments were by saying it would "help to win new business" and "it was important to look nicer for the team."

38 percent of those told to dress 'sexier' were told do so, to "be more pleasing to a client."

The research, which was conducted by UK employment law specialists Slater and Gordon, shows that 40 percent of women said these demands were targeted at them or other women in their teams, rather than equally with male peers.

They also said that the demands left them feeling objectified, demoralised and self-conscious about their appearance.

3 out of 5 women did not report the requests to dress more provocatively to HR.

Of the women asked to make changes, 25 percent agreed to boost their beauty regime out of fear of the impact that it may have on their career.

Slater and Gordon employment lawyer Danielle Parsons said: "It is categorically wrong for a manager or anyone in a position of power to suggest, even politely, for a woman to be more sexually appealing in the workplace."

She said not only is the practice unlawful, but it is also sexist and humiliating.

“Requests of this nature are discrimination and unlawful where male counterparts aren’t treated in this way, or where such unwanted requests create a humiliating or degrading environment for women."

Branding it a powerful form of coercion, Danielle said it makes women feel as though they must be more visually pleasing to be successful at their job.

“It’s extremely disappointing that we are still having these conversations, particularly during this time when women are juggling a multitude of roles from home, and may be also struggling with childcare responsibilities."

"This type of archaic behaviour has no place in the modern working world."

© 2020 by EMPWR

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