Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Men are more likely to be scrutinised for their appearance at work

With a quarter of employees revealing that they’re made to follow gender specific rules

Gender equality has been a hot topic of late, particularly when it comes to the workplace. Yet, according to the latest data from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site, one in four (22.5%) employees have to adhere to gender specific rules at work,  despite over half (56.2%) agreeing that these rules are sexist.

The study of 1,100 professionals explored gender specific rules in UK workplaces. Respondents were asked to reveal all gender specific rules that were enforced in their place of work. Interestingly, it was found that the majority of these rules were aimed at the appearance of male employees. The most common gender specific rules include:

  • Men not being allowed to wear shorts (78.4%)
  • Women having to wear skirts or dresses of a certain length (20.7%)
  • Men not being allowed to wear jewellery (16.7%)
  • Men having to wear ties (16.7%)
  • Men not being allowed to have long hair (14.5%)

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments on the findings:

“While there’s been a flood of media stories around equality in the workplace, especially in terms of the gender pay gap, it’s important that all forms of sexism are challenged. We often hear about women being judged on their appearance at the hiring stage, but our data suggests that male employees are more likely to face these problems in the workplace.  

“Employers should make sure that any rules they enforce are fair and justified. Above all, they need to remember that rules should apply to all employees. Plus, while dress codes are understandable, they should also be flexible. Especially considering the spate of hot weather we’ve been having recently. Strict work attire such as ties and heavy suits can be uncomfortable and too warm, causing dips in productivity.”

The study also asked professionals about diversity in their workplace, revealing that over one in four (28.8%) don’t consider their workplace to be diverse. What’s more, gender equality at work is important to the majority of professionals (86.7%), with 43.5% revealing that they take this into consideration when job hunting.

Biggins continues: “It’s worrying to learn that so many professionals are working in environments that they don’t consider to be diverse. Diversity in the workplace has a number of benefits for both employers and their staff and can promote an inclusive and positive workplace.

“It’s good to see that diversity is important to professionals and that they’re thinking about issues such as gender equality when job hunting. If you’re an employer, it’s in your best interest to make sure that your company embraces diversity, if you hope to attract talented candidates.”

For more information on creating a positive workplace, check out our article on why you need to support diversity at work.