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Exclusive: Drapers survey exposes fashion’s archaic attitudes towards women

Gender discrimination and inappropriate behaviour towards women in the workplace are plaguing the fashion retail industry, an exclusive survey by Drapers has shown.

The online survey, which ran from 29 January to 13 February, was completed by 270 people – 84% of them women- working in the industry.

Almost half (48.4%) of respondents said they had encountered gender discrimination in their workplace, while more than a third (36%) said they had experienced inappropriate behaviour.

The large majority – 87% – of those who have experienced inappropriate behaviour did not report it, largely for fear of losing their jobs or hindering their career prospects.

Just over half (52.6%) said they do not feel there is equality between men and women in the industry today, and a further 22% are not sure.

Three out of five (61%) respondents said they have never worked for a female CEO or managing director of a fashion company, and the same proportion again believe there is a glass ceiling in fashion retail.

Two-thirds agreed that the lack of diversity at board level in fashion is having a negative impact on the industry.

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