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Keys and Gray – Sexism in the workplace returns...

Keys and Gray – Sexism in the workplace returns...


There seems to be a general consensus that some degree of sexism in the workplace is an occupational hazard in today’s society, but if things have gradually been getting better over the last few decades, can we expect to see a more level playing-field over the years to come?

Maggie Berry isn’t so sure. “I would say that a level playing field is still a bit remote,” she says, “especially in male dominated sectors like IT. We hear lots of stories from women in IT about comments they have been subjected to, inferring that they can’t do their job properly because of their gender. One woman was even told she was in the ‘wrong place’ whilst at an IT conference!”

The fact that many women still earn significantly less than their male counterparts in a range of industries also suggests that sexist remarks are simply the by-product of a more deep-seated problem.

“Although we are seeing slow improvements,” continues Berry,

“on average men earn more than women, and until we can put into place a fairer way of dealing with maternity leave and the increased availability of decent part-time jobs, nothing much is going to change.

"Is sexism 'rife'? I'm not sure it's sexism as much as gender inequality.”

Patrick White agrees with her, arguing that, “sexist comments are the least of the problems faced by women in the workplace, with issues such as equal remuneration, the glass ceiling and attitudes to pregnancy meaning that a level playing field is still a way from being reached.”

Andy Gray and Richard Keys are a pair of outspoken, outdated boors who represent the worst end of the scale when it comes to male attitudes towards gender in the workplace. But as long as women remain hamstrung by the more fundamental constraints outlined above, sexism in the workplace might still be around for a while yet.


George Wales
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