Women continue to suffer sexism and gender discrimination in the workplace despite legislation and decades of so called change, a survey into how they are treated in the work environment has found.
As the organisers of International Women's Day 2017, on March 8, call for a more inclusive, gender equal world, a survey of 1,500 women conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BE Offices, the leading independent serviced offices provider, demonstrates that many women continue to be overlooked for promotion.
It also found that they are still paid less than male colleagues and still suffer the indignity of sexist comments.
Covering a wide age range and seniority as well as both full-time and part-time employees, the poll highlighted the disparity between men and women that continues to exist in the British work environment.
Almost a quarter, 23.47 per cent, of women reported they were paid less than male colleagues while 30.8 per cent said they had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace up from 27.4 per cent in 2014 when BE conducted a similar survey.
Of those respondents who had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, 25.53 per cent said they had been overlooked for a job because they were of child bearing age and a further 21.55 per cent said they didn't get a job because they had children.
Alarmingly, 23.9 per cent commented that they were overlooked for promotion because of their sex and a third had been subjected to sexist comments.
One of the key issues for many women is being able to juggle their career with parenting and keeping home.
Almost four out of 10 women, 37 per cent, commented that they felt pressured to juggle work and children while a similar level of respondents, 40.4 per cent, said they were under pressure to balance work and homemaking.
This shows a marked improvement over previous surveys when in 2011, 50.7 per cent reported they were under pressure to juggle children and their career and 49 per cent in 2014.
Interestingly, the pressure on women in the workplace to look attractive appears to be declining sharply.
In 2011, 54.4 per cent of respondents said they were under pressure to juggle work and their appearance.
This declined to 43.4 per cent in 2014, and virtually halved to 22.5 per cent in this survey.
Another positive finding of the 2016 survey is that fewer women now feel they had to adopt the traits of male counterparts to be taken seriously.
This has fallen from 27.7 per cent in 2011 to only 18.8 per cent today.
It also appears that women feel more confident in themselves today than they did six years ago.
They do not believe they have to change the way they act to get ahead in the workplace.
In 2011, 45.8 per cent of those polled said they had lowered their voice in the same way Margaret Thatcher famously did to be taken seriously in a male dominated environment.
Today only 7 per cent felt this was a necessary tactic.
Similarly, those feigning confidence to get ahead has fallen from 64.9 per cent to only 26.3 per cent while only 16.27 per cent felt the need to dress "more powerfully" compared to 56.7 per cent six years ago.
Likewise, respondents reporting the need to dress more sexily fell from 26.9 per cent in 2011 to only 3.7 per cent today.
David Saul, Managing Director of BE Offices, commented: "This survey underlines the continuing level of sexual discrimination endured by many women in the workplace.
"It is frankly depressing that this degree of sexism continues to thrive in the 21st Century British workplace, but at least things seem to be moving in the right direction, albeit at a slow pace.
"It is also clear that the Government is neither doing enough to stamp out gender discrimination or to provide support to talented women that want to juggle a career and motherhood."
BE employs 81 females and 44 males, of which 12 females and 11 males are of senior management or director level.
For full details on the survey, please go to http://www.beoffices.com