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Employment

75 per cent of women in Ireland feel they have experienced sexism in the workplace - research

A new survey suggests a “glass ceiling” may still hold women back in the workplace.

ALMOST 75 PER CENT of women say they have experienced sexism in the workplace, according to the results of a survey by an employment law consultancy.

Some 814 female employees were questioned by Peninsula Ireland over April and May 2012. Of those, 74 per cent said they had been frustrated that men had been promoted over them and 49 per cent said employers should do more for equal opportunity recruitment in higher positions.

A further 21 per cent said they did not feel confident that their ideas would be taken on board because of their gender.

Managing director of Peninsula Ireland Alan Price said that it was “alarming” that sexism in the workplace still exists, but also noted that employers “may struggle to identify how sexism is still present” – particularly in the context of legislation in place with the intention of protecting individuals.

Price said there was “still a sense that men are progressing faster in their careers than women”, whether in the boardroom or in management positions, and that there were suggestions that a “glass ceiling” was preventing women from progressing further in their careers.

To combat such problem, employers should acknowledge a policy which enforces equal opportunities within the workplace and which recognises the importance of gender discrimination, he said.

“Sexism can affect women at any level, and it is important that everyone from security staff right through to board of directors are given that equal opportunity to progress further in their careers,” Price added.

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