Tesco in gender bias row over trolley signage

Signage on trolleys at the British supermarket giant has led to claims of gender bias, and calls for the use of gender neutral figures.

Opinion is divided over whether stickers on supermarket trolleys depicting women are sexist.

Opinion is divided over whether stickers on supermarket trolleys depicting women are sexist. Source: @familymanc

UK supermarket chain Tesco has come under fire for using stickers on their trolleys depicting a woman and child, with some claiming the instructions are an example of gender bias.

The pictures depict a silhouette of a woman in a dress pushing a trolley with a child in the seat.

The controversy was sparked after one Twitter user posted on the social media site asking if Tesco thought it was “only women who do the food shopping and look after the kids?” using the hashtag #EverydaySexism.

This led to a flurry of online debate, with many users agreeing the signage underlined the sexist belief that only women looked after children and managed a household.

Some have even called for gender-neutral figures to be used instead.

But others have expressed their disbelief at the row, calling it ridiculous and political correctness gone too far.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Tesco is aware of the issue and is in the process of changing the icons.

It comes as the company is facing a £4 billion (AUD $7 billion) lawsuit over equal pay – Britain’s largest ever.

According to the BBC, thousands of female Tesco employees could receive back pay totalling £20,000 (AUD $35,000) should the challenge be successful.

Legal representatives argue Tesco’s female staff earn less per hour than their male colleagues despite doing comparable work.

Laws were introduced in the UK in 1984 stating that people doing jobs that require similar skills, levels of responsibility and of comparable worth should be rewarded equally.

A recent case has seen Birmingham City Council liable for more than £1 billion (AUD $1.76 billion) after an equal pay claim between women working as cleaners, cooks and carers, who successfully argued their jobs compared to men employed in jobs such as bin collectors and road workers.

Supermarket chain Asda is also appealing against a ruling that states more than 9,000 women employed at checkouts or stacking shelves could compare themselves to higher paid males working in warehouses.

Leigh Day solicitors said they’ve been contacted by more than 1,000 Tesco staff so far, though up to 200,000 supermarket workers could be affected.

Published 13 February 2018 at 1:24pm
Source: SBS News