“Dress sexier and wear makeup” — this is what some of the women employees were told to do by their bosses who attended video meetings. More than one in three women had the same experience, according to a study by employment law firm Slater and Gordon
It was believed that sexual abuse would come down because of lockdown as people worked from home. But the new revelations state that office sexism has taken a new turn with online video meetings.
In the survey held among 2000 women employees in the UK, the Law firm said that more than a third of women employees were asked to put more make up or redo their hair. It also said that 27 per cent of them were asked to dress in a more sexy way.
The study said that the employers had their justification, saying that a sexier look would please the clients and enhance the business. It said that the women employees felt demoralised and objectified at the demand of the employers. They also felt that the demands were targeted only at them rather than equally with male employees.
Most of the women surveyed said that they had to spend more time on their beauty regime, fearing that refraining from it would cost their jobs. They also did not bother to inform the Human Resources Department about the demands to dress in a sexier way. They feared negative impact on their career if they did not listen to the bosses.
Slater and Gordon employment lawyer Danielle Parsons was quoted as saying that it was 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.
Noting that this was demeaning to women, Danielle Parsons stressed that this was a powerful form of coercion. The lawyer also said that it was disappointing that the women were asked to do such things even when she was doing multiple roles at home. Such archaic behaviour has no place in the modern working world, the lawyer said.