Companies should encourage more diversity at work, after research showed many women feel the need to change their persona in the office.
Three-quarters of employees change their behaviour for work, with almost 50% saying they make a “conscious decision” to adopt a different persona.
But Ann Pickering, HR director for Telefonica UK, who carried out the research, said having a diverse workplace is “so much better for business”.
Pickering said: “I’m a bit worried and a bit depressed by the findings. I really thought we were making more progress as an economy in general, but it seems that businesses are missing a big trick here.”
And women are more likely to tone done their personality in favour of more “office-friendly” behaviours – including hiding their emotions and exaggerating assertiveness.
Pickering said: “We need a balance. In my team I want people to have a range of skills and personalities.
“You need assertive types, but having a whole room of them isn’t helpful. You need a blend, with more reflective and creative characters mixed in.”