1 In 4 Women Are Told Their Appearance Is A “Distraction” In The Workplace, Says New Study
Another day, yet another case of gender discrimination in the workplace. According to a new study conducted by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk spokesperson George Charles, one in four women have been forewarned about their appearance at the office, with the most frequently complained-about issues concerning too much makeup and skirt length.
According to the new research, a significant 35 percent of managers are deeming female workers a “distraction” to their male co-workers, thus toeing a thin line between professional guidelines and outright sexism.
These findings are particularly bothersome given that you rarely, if ever, hear about men in the workplace being penalized for their clothing in any capacity. The hyper-sexualization surrounding women's bodies is bad enough as it is, but it's even more disturbing when it finds its way into a professional setting.
Bottom line: This isn't a dress code issue; it's blatant sexism.
Despite office-wear becoming significantly more lax when compared to the strict guidelines our grandmothers and moms had to follow, many modern offices still require women to wear business-casual attire, meaning skirts, dresses, and high heels are a must, rather than a choice.
Just last year, London receptionist Nicola Thorp was fired for refusing to wear high heels to her office job.
She told BBC Radio London,
I said, 'If you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough,' but they couldn't.
It's kind of a catch-22, isn't it? Companies want women to wear certain articles of clothing, but who exactly gets to decide the difference between what's tasteful and what's "too much?"
Fixating on a woman's clothing takes away from the successes she's actually accomplishing in the workplace.
When former secretary of state Hillary Clinton ran for president against Donald Trump, it was not uncommon for headlines across all media outlets to discuss her matching pantsuit or what designer she wore at the primaries.
And, to be completely honest, I never knew about half of the incredible work former first lady Michelle Obama did for this country, because magazines and reporters were so obsessively fixated on her (no doubt incredible) fashion sense.
As members of the 21st century, it's high time we leave fashion coverage for the fashion magazines, and focus on the great work women do every day, rather than what they wear while doing that work.
It's also not a woman's problem if a man feels "distracted" by her appearance.
For some reason, men still appear to consider themselves superior enough to women to tell them how they should or, most often, should not dress.
George Charles, who led the study, explained,
It's OK to pull up a member of your staff on their appearance if you genuinely believe that they're breaking their contract in anyway, or even if it poses some sort of health and safety risk, but you just can't tell women to change their appearance because they're possibly going to be distracting to their male colleagues. That's outrageous.
Couldn't have said it better myself, George.