Four in 10 UK workers ‘don’t want their employer to introduce gender neutral bathrooms’

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

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Employees discuss diversity in the UK workplace

Four in 10 UK workers do not want their employer to introduce gender-neutral bathrooms – 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 have already implemented the measure.

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

In addition, 40% of employees in the UK do not know if their company has an ‘inclusion council’ and almost a quarter (23%) do not want non-sexist language encouraged.

This is eclipsed by Mexican and American companies, where four in 10 already work in a place that encourages 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.”

Almost a fifth (18%) of UK workforce respondents say their company does not provide transition care for transgender employees – and they don’t want them to start.

Another 20 percent would not like 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 seven percent of businesses have gender-nonspecific signs designating their bathrooms.

And only one in 10 proactively recruits from underrepresented groups, according to data from OnePoll.com.

Mexico ranked as most diverse, study finds



However, 51% believe their workplace has a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying, harassment and the use of inappropriate language.

And more than a third (36%) have received diversity training across their organization.

The in-depth research and subsequent scoring system – https://essityworkplacediversity.uk/ – was developed by the hygiene and health company Essity.

He revealed that the United States was seen as the country most likely to have workplaces that ‘celebrate employee differences’ – with Italy the least.

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

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

Do you have an opinion on gender neutral toilets?



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 educate staff members first about the importance and reasons for these changes, before making them.”

To encourage workers and employers to think more about their business and find out just how diverse it really is, Essity has developed a set of questions – https://essityworkplacediversity.uk/how-diverse-is-your-workplace-quiz/.


  1. Mexico – note 113
  2. Ireland – note 97
  3. Spain – note 91
  4. United States – note 89
  5. Netherlands – note 89
  6. Germany – score 74
  7. France and Italy – both scoring 73
  8. Sweden – score 47
  9. United Kingdom – note 38


Employees work in a diverse workforce – 70 percent

Companies recruit from diverse backgrounds – 46 percent

Company arranges for dietary needs – 25%

Equal pay for men and women – 60%

Equal pay regardless of race, religion, disability, nationality – 65%

Companies offer the same opportunities to men and women – 51%

Companies offer the same opportunities regardless of race, religion, disability, nationality – 62%

Non-Christian workers are entitled to paid time off to celebrate religious occasions – 40%

Staff can take sick leave to address their mental health – 58%

Company provides a place where staff can take prayer breaks – 31%

Companies take care of disabilities, visual and hidden – 55%

Meeting rooms are provided for breastfeeding/expressing milk – 22%

Staff get paid time off for prenatal/fertility appointments – 37%

The company offers additional maternity / paternity leave / pay above the law – 30%

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