herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Eight out of ten Irish women 'victims of sexist jokes at work'

SEXISM

A total of 821 managers were questioned in June and July in relation to the issue.
A total of 821 managers were questioned in June and July in relation to the issue.

Almost eight out of 10 Irish women have been victims of sexist jokes in the workplace, according to a new survey.

The figures show sexism is still rife at work, a Dublin-based employment law consultancy said.

The survey also found that six out of 10 men feel uncomfortable when female colleagues make sexist jokes about them.

"It is 2015 and unacceptable levels of sexism in the workplace still exist - employers have to do more to combat this issue," said Alan Price, managing director of employment law consultancy, Graphite HRM, which carried out the survey.

A total of 821 managers were questioned in June and July in relation to the issue.

Mr Price said that it's not just women who are suffering - men can also be victims.

"However, whether it is a workplace joke or something more overt, sexism in the workplace is still a major cause for concern," he said.

"Bosses need to ensure their management are fully aware of the severity of the issue and should do more to help prevent and tackle any instances of sexism.

"As shocking as it may seem, women are still experiencing gender bias in the workplace - which ranges from subtle gestures, including being given less important tasks, to more overt behaviours, such as being subjected to sexist remarks," he pointed out.

The figures come as several instances of blatant sexism have come to light in Ireland in recent times, most notably in the political sphere.

Last month, Ireland's youngest female elected politician, Sinn Fein councillor Lisa Marie Sheehy, called for an improved environment for women in the office after revealing that she had been subjected to sexist comments in her first year as a public representative.

COMMENTS

The 21-year-old said that comments made about her by some councillors were "most offensive" and "inappropriate".

The Limerick councillor said remarks were made about her clothing and a male councillor once said to colleagues: "How can you concentrate when people are dressed like that?"

"That was probably one of the most disgusting comments I have heard about me," Ms Sheehy said.

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