Sexism in the workplace is a silent epidemic across the UK

A new study suggests that sexism in the workplace appears to be a silent epidemic across the UK.

According to a YouGov poll commissioned by prominent charity the Young Women’s Trust, as many as 63 per cent of large UK employers believe that sexism in the workplace is a common issue, while a further 12 per cent claim to be aware that instances of sexual harassment have gone unreported in their workplace.

The survey quizzed more than 800 HR decision-makers at large organisations with 250 or more employees and found that sexism appears to be growing increasingly commonplace.

10 per cent of companies told the poll that sexual harassment of some kind had occurred in their workplace at least once, while 12 per cent said that they were aware of multiple incidents that had gone unreported.

Female workers at each organisation were also asked to share their opinions. The report found that almost half (40 per cent) felt that their organisation was sexist, while a further third (33 per cent) felt that they had faced prejudice or discrimination of some kind as a result of their gender.

Dr Carole Easton OBE, Chief Executive of the Young Women’s Trust, said: “Too many young women are facing sexism and sexual harassment while trying to carry out their jobs. It is shocking how many employers are aware of this in their own workplaces – yet the problem continues.”

Her comments come at a time when the Supreme Court has ruled that the UK’s current Employment Tribunal fees system is unlawful.

Since this ruling, unhappy employees who believe they have been discriminated against or unfairly treated in some way will effectively be able to challenge their employers without being expected to pay fees in order to make a claim. Such fees had previously been widely criticised for restricting access to justice.

Dr Easton added: “As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, we are pleased that young women, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet, will not be prevented from taking cases forward. It’s important that women have access to justice when they face discrimination and harassment at work.”

Carter Lemon Camerons LLP solicitors is a City law firm which provides legal services with a personal touch covering the full range of litigation issues, including employment disputes. For more information about our services, please contact Andrew Firman or Kate Boguslawska or telephone: 020 7406 1000.   

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Carter Lemon Camerons LLP (CLC) solicitors is a City law firm which provides legal services with a personal touch to both commercial and private clients. Unlike many City practices we are happy to act in smaller private legal matters, bringing the same care and consideration as we do to large commercial matters. For more information about CLC please visit: or telephone: 020 7406 1000