Third of women warned for appearance at work told they're a 'distraction' to male colleagues

·Contributor
Interview
Far fewer men have been singled out for their appearance [Photo: Pexels]

Just when we thought that maternity rights and bizarre dress codes were enough for women to be dealing with at work, one third of women who have been taken aside by management for their appearance have been deemed a “distraction” to their male colleagues.

Yep – according to new research, one in four women has been cautioned about what they’re wearing at work.

Compared to just one in nine men.

A study by VoucherCodesPro involved asking 2,384 Britons in full-time work – an equal number of men and women – about money and their appearance.

Man and woman
Double standards? [Photo: Pexels]

A third of female respondents who said they’d got in trouble over their appearance were given a list of reasons why they think that was and told to tick any that applied.

The top reason being for wearing too much makeup, with almost half of the group (46%) citing this as a possible reason.

Next was wearing a too-short skirt (35%) followed by a too-revealing top (30%) and wearing a slogan top (18%).

And the last was simply wearing something ‘a bit OTT or flamboyant’ (15%).

Friends at work
It can feel impossible to get it right as a woman in the workplace [Photo: Pexels]

But most importantly, female respondents said that these skirts and tops were seen in such a negative light not because of health and safety, for example, but because they were considered ‘distracting’ for their male counterparts.

More than half of men who were called up on their appearance, meanwhile, were told off for not being neatly shaven (56%).

Or alternatively for wearing incorrect footwear such as trainers instead of shoes (34%), wearing shorts instead of trousers (32%), appearing too ‘flamboyant’ (19%) or wearing a slogan top (12%).

When asked how they felt after being taken aside, 33% of women said they felt embarrassed, 30% angry and 25% singled out – yet 72% of men said they simply ‘shrugged it off.’

Man in trousers
Men are taken aside for wearing shorts instead of trousers [Photo: Pexels]

And despite their initial reactions, 73% of women criticised adjusted their appearance after the warning, while just 44% did the same.

It’s hardly surprising so many women felt angry after this experience as, when it comes to how we present ourselves, women are damned if we do and damned we don’t.

You could try cutting down on make-up. But then again, what if your company says you’re not wearing enough?

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