Due to increased workplace pressure, three-quarters of female workers are changing their behaviour or appearance in order to succeed in the office.

This is according to a new study by telecommunication firm, O2, which found that nearly 50% of women deliberately take on a different personality at work compared to at home, with many feeling the need to adopt more manly characteristics.

The survey, which interviewed 2,000 working women on how they presented themselves at work, indicated that one-quarter admit to dressing in a masculine way and half said they felt obliged to reserve their emotions.

Five percent of the respondents sought to behave like their male colleagues, while 25% said that the senior women in their company were the dominant and controlling ‘alpha stereotype’.

Ten percent of women said there were no females in senior positions in their organisation, with around 39% feeling that it was difficult to ‘be nice’ and attain senior roles. Twenty percent of women also believed they had to act ruthlessly to be respected at work.

Meanwhile, just 47% of women thought it was possible to have both a happy home and fulfilling career.

O2 said that while the case for diversity in the business sector had been widely covered, the new figures highlighted a “desperate need” for companies to create an environment to allow women to succeed “as themselves”.

Ann Pickering, O2’s HR director, said, “While businesses today have come a long way… the reality is that many modern women are still feeling the pressure to conform to outdated stereotypes.”

“These results should act as a wake-up call for businesses to ensure they don’t miss out on the valuable contribution that women can make to their organisations. Through a number of simple measures – such as providing better flexible working, mentoring or training – businesses can ensure that they help all their people to achieve their potential regardless of the stage of their career or gender,” she continued.

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