Two-fifths of UK workers ‘are against gender neutral toilets’ Business News

According to a poll, four in ten British workers do not want their employer to introduce gender-neutral toilets – well below acceptance levels in other countries.

A survey of 10,000 employees from 10 different countries, including the UK, US, Mexico, France and the Netherlands, found that 34% of US companies already had the measure in place.

More than a quarter (27%) of Italian respondents, meanwhile, did not have this facility but would like it to be introduced.

Additionally, 40% of employees in the UK did not know if their company had an ‘inclusion council’ and almost a quarter (23%) did not want gender-neutral language encouraged.

This was eclipsed by Mexican and American companies, where four in 10 respondents already worked in a place that encouraged the use of neutral pronouns.

The research was commissioned by global hygiene and health company Essity, whose spokesperson said: ‘Our findings revealed that the UK may be a bit behind other countries when it comes to open-mindedness.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean one or the other. Where space permits, companies can provide bathrooms for both men and women while providing a gender-neutral option.

“Ultimately, the goal should be to be more understanding and tolerant of your colleagues and visitors without making anyone feel uncomfortable.”

The survey findings come after a 2018 report found that unisex changing rooms at swimming pools attracted significantly more complaints of sexual assault and harassment than single-sex ones.

Pollsters found that almost a fifth (18%) of UK workforce respondents said their company did not provide transition-related care for transgender employees – and that they did not want to not that they start.

Another 20% did not want their employer to target recruitment to minority groups.

And just under a quarter (23%) would even be disappointed to see their work canteen offer a variety of foods for all preferences and cultures.

Only 7% of businesses had gender-neutral signs designating their bathrooms. And only one in 10 proactively recruited from underrepresented groups, according to OnePoll data.

However, 51% believed their workplace had a zero-tolerance policy in place for bullying, harassment and the use of inappropriate language. And more than a third (36%) had received diversity training across their organization.

The research found the US was seen as the country most likely to have workplaces that ‘celebrate employee differences’ – with Italy being the least likely.

American workplaces were also the best at inviting employees to share their backgrounds, religious and cultural practices, with 38% of employers encouraging this.

In France, by comparison, only 17% of workers reported this initiative in their workplace.

The Essity spokesperson added: “It is interesting to see the differences between what employers have brought to their business and what employees want.

“Anything that can make marginalized employees feel more included – for whatever reason – should be encouraged. Perhaps employers should first educate staff members on the importance and reasons for these changes, before making them.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-07 08:34:28

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