Men are refused 'jobs for women': Traditional view of the sexes lingers on

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MEN are suffering widespread discrimination at work, according to a survey published today.

They are more likely to have their sexuality questioned for taking a job traditionally performed by women than vice versa. Males also have a narrower choice of work and are often offered lower paid jobs, an employment agency found.

Employers regard long-term unemployed males as lazy, whereas women who have been out of work for some time are considered 'maternal', according to the survey.

More than half of the men questioned by the Link Up Group in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire believe that their role in the workforce has diminished since they started work. The survey covered 52 businesses with 50,000 employees.

The research found that nearly half the 118 male respondents had been advised to seek low-paid warehouse or shopfloor work, compared with only 10 per cent of the 108 women questioned.

Women were more likely to be steered towards higher paid secretarial, administrative or word- processing work.

More than 60 per cent of the companies asked thought that their existing workforce would be surprised to see a male

secretary, 21 per cent would be critical and 63 per cent 'amused'.

Employers saw sexual harassment as routine. More than a third thought it inevitable for a woman working in a male environment and 26 per cent thought a man working with women should expect the same.

Larry Gould, managing director of Link Up and a former secretary, said that his agency had waiting rooms full of men prepared to go to work, but employers sometimes prefer to keep open a vacancy rather than take on a man.

Men and Women at Work; Link Up Services, Link Up House, 272A Dewsbury Road, Leeds LS11 6JT; pounds 5.50 (including P&P).