International Women's Day: survey finds UK is still stuck in gender discrimination dark ages

7 March: Despite this year’s International Women’s Day theme being one of inspiring change, a poll conducted by serviced office provider Business Environment has revealed that for women in the UK, gender discrimination is still as prevalent as it was 20 years ago.
In a poll of 1,500 office workers, over a quarter of females surveyed (27.4%) claimed to have experienced some form of gender discrimination in the workplace.
Worryingly, the majority of incidents reported centred around women’s families, suggesting not all women can have it all.
Of those surveyed, a quarter (25.67%) of females felt that having children had held them back in their career, and one in five (18.6%) felt they had missed out on a promotion as a direct result of taking maternity leave.
David Saul, co-founder and managing director at Business Environment said: “This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Inspiring Change’ and quite clearly, for some female employees in the UK, change cannot come soon enough. I am saddened that despite huge progress made in the last decades, such a high proportion of women in the workplace still find they come up against the same old problems, especially in relation to family life and maternity leave”
The survey also found that the problem extends far beyond the realms of women feeling they are being discriminated against, with respondents openly admitting to harbouring discriminatory views when making hiring decisions.
More than a quarter of those surveyed (27.47%) admitted that they would be reluctant to hire a woman of childbearing age and 26 per cent claimed they would have reservations about hiring a female if they already had children.
David Saul added: “What these results show is that employers are still discriminating against women who choose to have children as well as work. It’s great that women no longer feel they have to pursue the career of housewife if they don’t want to, but if this level of discrimination towards working women continues, we could see females reverting back to the ways of pre-suffragette Britain, which would be a huge backwards step for gender equality.”
International Women’s Day occurs globally every year on the 8th of March and celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of females, whilst also focussing the world’s attention on those areas that require further action in order to improve the lives of females today.

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