Male and female respondents blamed sexist attitudes for the ability of men to fast-track their careers, despite the overwhelming numbers of women at entry and junior level. There was a strong perception among respondents that, in the words of one respondent, “men are seen as ‘special assets’ to be retained/promoted, while the women expected to fall by the wayside on the path to the top”. Another reported that her “senior male colleagues” feel “that the younger female employees make good assistants and secretaries but aren’t considered seriously for more creative/senior roles”.

Emily said: “It became a joke in the office with a very senior (sympathetic) male boss. When an editorial assistant was promoted after six months in a job to a position that could have been filled by a woman with more experience and equal talent, I’d ask why, genuinely wanting to know if he was super talented. He’d reply: ‘Because he has a dick.’”

#patriarchiesrealign: ‘Why’d he get promoted? Because he has a dick’: sexism in publishing survey reveals widespread frustration (guardian)