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Women job interview candidates more than three times as likely to answer awkward or illegal questions

Female workers are most likely to be asked about their relationship status, their age or their future family plans.

Zlata Rodionova
Tuesday 05 January 2016 14:47 GMT
Lawyers face the biggest divide - with women earning an average of £8,000 less than men
Lawyers face the biggest divide - with women earning an average of £8,000 less than men (REX Features)

More than 40 per cent of British women have been asked ‘inappropriate’ questions during a job interview compared to only 12 per cent of men, according to new research.

According to a poll of more than 2,800 British workers by graduate recruitment app Debut, female candidates have to answer to more awkward or even illegal questions in comparison with their male counterparts.

Under UK law, interviewers do not have the right to ask about a prospective candidate's health, relationship status, and if he has or is planning to have children.

Debut asked an equal amount of male and female respondents and found that female workers were most likely to be asked about their relationship status (27 per cent), followed by their age (25 per cent) and their future family plans (23 per cent).

By contrast only 9 per cent of male workers were asked about their relationship status, while 6 per cent were asked how old they were and only three had to answer questions about their family plans.

A further 8 per cent of female employees said they had been asked ‘other’ inappropriate questions not included in the survey, such as if they were currently pregnant and whether they found their interviewer attractive.

Over 20 per cent of women stated they still feel discriminated for or against on the basis of their gender compared to only 7 per cent of men.

According to Charles Tayor, CEO of Debut, interviews can be difficult enough without also having to worry about answering questions on your marital status.

“It seems a lot of women are getting inappropriate questions. It is discriminative for employers to base their decision for a potential candidate on a person’s gender.

“If you ever experience these questions in an interview, you should consider whether you would really want to work at a company that holds those kind of value,” he said.

Almost thirty per cent of women are paid below the living wage, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

More women than ever are now sitting on the boards of Britain’s biggest companies but the top jobs continue to be dominated by men, according to the FTSE 100 companies annual progress report.

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