MORE than a third of women in Wales have said they have received sexist comments from their employers during lockdown.

More than 34 percent of Welsh women have experienced at least one sexist demand in the workplace since the lockdown started in March - with many being asked to wear more make-up or dress more provocatively on video calls.

New research by employment law specialists Slater and Gordon shows workplace sexism has found new ways to thrive online.

The most common ways those in positions of power justified inappropriate comments about dress included saying it would ‘help to win new business’ (25 per cent Wales/41 per cent UK), saying it was important to ‘look nicer for the team’ (75 per cent Wales/41 per cent UK) and saying it would be more ‘pleasing to a client’ (50 per cent Wales/38 per cent UK).

Nearly 37 per cent of Welsh women (40 per cent of women UK-wide) said these demands were targeted at them or other women in their teams, leaving them feeling objectified, demoralised and self-conscious.


Eighty-five per cent of Welsh women (60 per cent of women UK-wide) didn’t report the requests to dress more provocatively to their employer's human resources department, while one third agreed to boost their beauty regime for fear of a negative impact on their career.

Slater and Gordon employment lawyer Danielle Parsons said: “It is categorically wrong for a manager or anyone in a position of power to suggest, even politely, for a woman to be more sexually appealing in the workplace.

“This is a powerful form of coercion which makes women feel as if they must adhere to the manager’s request and be more visually pleasing to be successful at their job.

"This type of archaic behaviour has no place in the modern working world.”

Employment law specialists Slater and Gordon commissioned the research, polling 2,000 people who normally worked in office-based jobs, but who are now working from home during lockdown.

Ms Parsons said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe, comfortable and protected at work.

“If anyone encounters this kind of commentary they should report it to a manager or HR team and seek legal advice. I would also suggest people step up and challenge this when they hear it said to others.”