Removing wedding rings, concealing pregnancies and hiding their age – a panel discussion on gender equality has heard these are just some of the things women in the workplace have to do.
The charity Dress for Success says the gender pay gap of 14% means women are effectively working for free from today until the end of the year.
Its founder, fashion designer Sonya Lennon says women experience things in the workplace that men simply don’t.
“I get it all the time as a working mother – ‘How do you manage with the kids?’,” she said.
“Nobody ever asks my husband that.”
Jewellery designer Chupi Sweetman says women often feel forced to hide their relationships and age in job interviews.
“My friends tell me they take off their engagement rings and their wedding rings because you don’t want to be a woman in your 30s in the interview,” she said.
“All employers are looking at is the chance you’re going to get pregnant, and leave. It’s absolutely shocking.”
Mental health activist Jamie Harrington, who recently had to correct a boy after he overheard him inappropriately slagging a girl, says respect for women needs to taught at a young age.
“(He told the girl:) ‘I’m going to smack you on the arse and everyone’s going to laugh at that,” he said.
“That was very shocking very me, because we should be teaching young boys to respect women. I’m not talking about holding open doors – that’s not respect to me. I’m talking about teaching young people to respect women as an equal person, a human being and not (thinking of women as) something you can make fun of.”