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Kit to act against Sexism

May 29th 2017

Three tools for the world of work

Developed by the Higher Council for professional equality between Women and Men (CSEP) in France, this toolkit highlights three tools to combat sexism in employment.

The Toolkit approaches equality in the workplace through three lenses:

  1. Sexist Acts - Legal Information (definitions, examples, sanctions)
  2. Sexist Acts - Reference Information (for employers, HR, employee representatives, union representatives and victims)
  3. Sexism at Work - Ten Levers for Companies (recommendations)

Context

The provision concerning sexist acts was integrated into our labour law in 2015. The time has come to deliver its full potential within work organisations by actioning a certain number of drivers. Companies have a responsibility to offer a working environment encouraging harmonious living together and relying on mutual respect between their members, as well as a culture free from sexism.

Sexist attitudes and behaviour as defined in article L. 1142-2-1 of the labour code, commonly known as "everyday sexism", have direct repercussions both on employees’ well-being at work and on their sense of competence and legitimacy. Women are more often confronted with it than men. 80% of female managers and 74% of non-managerial female employees consider that, in the world of work, women are regularly confronted with sexist attitudes and behaviour (CSEP surveys on "The working relationships between women and men" - November 2013 and November 2016). Sexism leads women to adopt avoidance strategies, or even withdrawal strategies, and harms the company’s performance and its employees.

Combating sexist acts, defined in the labour code, is, therefore, more than ever, a necessity. This commitment may be achieved via a professional equality policy, undertaken in the context of social dialogue and relying, for example, on actions encouraging diversity, the improvement of working conditions, parenthood and work-life balance. Yet it cannot be confused with this legal requirement, essential, but not sufficient. The fight against sexism requires specific tools.

Full professional equality and diversity will not be able to be achieved without the removal of all forms of sexism in companies.

Aims

  • To obtain a commitment from companies, at the highest level, in favour of a company culture free from sexism.
  • To make the manifestations of "everyday sexism" visible at work and lead to awareness of its repercussions.
  • To make companies a safe space from sexism or "sexism free", in order to encourage the well-being of women and men at work and the economic performance of the company.
  • To make preventing sexism at work a driver for promoting diversity by creating conditions favourable to the integration of women in mainly male-dominated professions and men in mainly female-dominated professions.
  • To participate in the process of changing mentalities and behaviour relating to the place of men and women in work organisations.

These precise and concrete commitments, from which a choice will be able to be made to respond to the needs of the work organisation, must be taken up at the highest level of companies. They affect all of the employees and members of staff, both male and female.

Download the Kit

In French: Kit pour agir contre le sexisme
In English: Kit to act against sexism