New report shows differing perceptions of workplace sexism

A YouGov survey of 800 HR decision-makers commissioned by the Young Women's Trust on women's experiences at work, has found that nearly half of female HR directors think their workplace is sexist compared to only a quarter of men. 

Responding to the report, Chloe Chambraud, Business in the Community's interim gender equality director, said.

"The perceptions gap between men and women, highlighted in the Young Women’s Trust survey, is a real obstacle to solving gender inequality.   Many men are oblivious to the barriers encountered by women such as unfairness in pay, access to career progression or work-life balance issues and this is supported by our research, which shows that three-quarters of men think that there is equal pay in their organisation compared to less than half of women (45%).

Next year’s gender pay gap legislation, which will require large employers to publish their gender pay gap, will reveal the true extent of gender inequality, driving HR directors and decision-makers to face up to the reality in their own organisation.”


The survey report also says that three in five employers (63%) agreed that sexism still exists in the workplace, with a third admitting women face prejudice and discrimination because of their gender in their own workplace.  The number of women saying their workplace was sexist was much higher, at 40%.  10% of organisations with 250 or more employees said there had been formal reports of sexual harassment in their workplace and 12%  said they were aware of incidents that had gone unreported. 
This comes as a Supreme Court ruling found employment tribunal fees to be unlawful, following a challenge from public sector union Unison. Now employees will once more be able to take on employers over workplace sexual harassment without worrying about having to pay huge sums. While tribunal fees were in place, the number of women reporting sexual harassment at work fell dramatically, despite calls to helplines increasing.

Young Women’s Trust is a charity that supports and represents women in England and Wales aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.