Women’s equality in the workplace threatened by access to porn, says Fawcett Society report

Women’s equality at work is being threatened by lax policies that don’t go far enough to stop men accessing pornographic material in the workplace and using lap-dancing clubs as meeting places, a new report by The Fawcett Society has claimed.


Today’s report, Corporate Sexism: the sex industry’s infiltration of the modern workplace, found that magazines containing pornographic material are displayed for sale purposes in more than 50,000 workplaces, while one-fifth (20%) of men questioned in the survey admitted to accessing pornography while at work.


Kat Banyard, campaigns officer at the Fawcett Society and co-author of the report, said: “Despite relative silence on the issue within employer circles, our research shows that the sex industry is a major threat to women’s equality at work.”


The report also found that 26% of trade unions have received enquiries from members who have been exposed to the sex industry during working hours.


Banyard added: “While the days when it was deemed acceptable to hang ‘girly calendars’ on office walls may be long gone, the presence of degrading imagery of women in UK workplaces has never been more endemic.”


It is up to HR departments to make their workplace policies clear on what is acceptable and what is not, and where necessary monitor employee web use, added Stephen Bevan, managing director at think-tank The Work Foundation.


He said: “This is something that the HR department could get a bit more of a grip on. I think most organisations should be able to monitor the use of websites, and see whether they are work-related or not.”

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