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Is Gender Discrimination Still a Problem in the UK?

Posted by on in Discrimination at Work
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Only four months after a report by office provider Business Environment found that more than a quarter of women have experienced some form of gender discrimination in the workplace, Dame Stephanie Shirley has claimed that today’s women have it “lucky” in the workplace.

Dame Shirely, 80, who is a retired business leader who founded a pioneering computer software company in 1962, said: “Today’s young women, I don’t know what they’re complaining about” at the Telegraph Ways With Words festival.

Her words are not quite as harsh as they first appear as the business woman, who throughout her career has deliberately employed women and campaigned to improve the rights of female employees, was simply referring to legal equality. She elaborated by saying: “There’s nothing holding women back. The law is pure. There’s very little in this country that is legally overtly discriminatory.”

She is right in saying that the law does explicitly prohibit gender discrimination. Nevertheless, the fact remains that there are still drastic differences in how the law operates in practice compared to on paper.

Of course, whilst there has still been significant progress made in terms of reducing gender discrimination in the last few decades, the level of discrimination in the UK is still thought to be unacceptably high. The Business Environment report mentioned above, found that 19 per cent of women felt they had missed out on promotion as a direct result of taking maternity leave, in complete contradiction to how our law is supposed to operate under the Equality Act 2010.

Gender discrimination is still felt for women aiming for the top jobs, too. The so-called ‘glass-ceiling’ - whereby women are very much in sight of the top yet cannot reach it - was felt by one of the UK's top businesswomen Kim Winser, who recently claimed that during her time at Marks & Spencer was rejected by the board three times for being a woman.  

Gender Discrimination Advice in Glasgow

Whether you are an employee wishing to make a gender discrimination claim or an employee facing one, Alexander McBurney can help. To get in touch, please contact our Glasgow based solicitors today by completing our online enquiry form or calling 0141 576 4808.

We have specialised for 10 years in providing employment law advice and representation at Employment Tribunals. We provide employment law advice both to employers and to employees.

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