EMPLOYERS regularly tell women to put on more makeup, wear high heels and short skirts, according to new research.

Women workers said they felt targeted with 86 per cent saying they felt pressured to dress “sexier” in order to protect their careers while seven per cent said their bosses
had urged them to wear high heels in the office or with clients because it made them “more appealing”.

The survey of 2,000 employees was commissioned by employment lawyers Slater and Gordon who noted “a rise” in the numbers of clients complaining about comments their bosses were making about their looks.

Josephine Van Lierop, of Slater and Gordon, described the results as “very disappointing but not surprising” adding remarks about a woman’s appearance tended to come from sectors such as financial services, hospitality and the city.

The survey claimed 28 per cent of women reported they had been advised that changing their appearance would be “better for business” while 13 per cent said they had decided to flaunt more flesh at work after suggestions by more senior employees to vamp up their appearance.

In contrast 54 per cent of men said their appearance had never been commented upon although three per cent said they had been told to dress more smartly by senior colleagues. Male employees did say they had been told to remove hair dye, jewellery
and cover any visible tattoos.

Current UK employment law states a dress code can be used but this is usually imposed for health and safety reasons, or to promote a particular image, such as smartness and efficiency.