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Sexism rife in business, survey suggests

16 May 2011

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Two thirds of women believe a mentoring scheme would help them do better in business as they struggle to compete with men in sexist workplaces.

A survey for Marie Claire suggested that despite the apparent enlightened times in which we live, almost half (46%) of women have experienced sexism where they work, leaving them with fewer opportunities to progress in terms of pay and promotion when compared with male colleagues.

But 60% of those questioned for the survey who had been mentored at work found the scheme had a positive effect on their business. However, it seems a change in attitude would be needed in business for more women to benefit as (72%) of firms have no such scheme in place.

The survey also found that 63% of those questioned believe that a woman’s age is seemingly more important in the workplace than a man’s, while 78% said that being attractive helps them to get on better and 60% think that overweight women are discriminated against.

While women want an equal playing field in which to compete at work, more than half (53%) do not believe that positive discrimination is a good thing to ensure female representation on boards. More than half also said they would prefer to work for a female boss.

Copyright © Press Association 2011