Sexism is alive and well in work places – and now we have the definitive proof.
Forget the fact women may have finally smashed through the glass ceiling to join men in the boardroom. When it comes to office temperatures, it seems we are still being left out in the cold.
Us girls have often wondered why our office feels so chilly on a hot summer’s day or why, on some days, we are struck by hot flushes and just can’t cool down.
We’ve been reassured time and again it’s not a cunning ploy by bosses to save money by tampering with the temperature. But we’ve been baffled by the way the male species never seem to bat an eyelid or complain of shivering or sweltering.
It seems we’re not the only ones who’ve been suffering, as the verdict is that women workers in the UK are being sexually discriminated against ... by air conditioning units. Modern climate control systems are based on the metabolic rate of an 11-stone 40-year-old man, which runs up to 30% faster than a woman’s.
The study found the optimum temperature for women in the workplace is about 24.5C, while men at work are happiest at 22C.
To make things even more confusing, metabolic rate lowers with increasing age, which means an older workforce is likely to need higher office temperatures.
Our bodies also affect how hot or cold we feel. Men typically have more heat generating muscle than women, so feel comfortable at cooler temperatures.
Women tend to be smaller and have more body fat than men, so they have slower metabolic rates need to be warmer.
These findings have been greeted with applause by the women of our office. At last, we have an explanation for why we have to wear coats, jumpers and cardies, even when it’s roasting outside.
However, some men – my Hubby included – are often quite unsympathetic to our plight. The other day, he wasn’t happy to find I had put the central heating on as I was feeling too cold.
Looking incredulously at my short-sleeved top and bare legs, he asked: “Would it not be easier – and cheaper – to put a jumper and some warm trousers on?”
I treated this “advice” with the same contempt as when he suggests wearing “sensible shoes” rather than skyscraper heels when I’m wearing a dress.
Does he not know trainers and dresses don’t go!