Historic Royal Palace staff told not to tell female colleagues 'you look so young'

24 April 2022, 10:21 | Updated: 24 April 2022, 10:31

HRP asked staff to attend 'micro-aggression' training.
HRP asked staff to attend 'micro-aggression' training. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Staff at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) have been advised not tell female colleagues "you look so young" as part of 'micro-aggression' training.

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The charity asked employees to complete a 45-minute training session on 'micro-aggressions', with hopes of encouraging them to not use "the wrong kind of language", according to the Mail.

As part of the online course, it was highlighted that, the majority of the time, "the speaker has no intention of causing offence or pain".

However, staff were also advised that female colleagues should not be told: "You look so young."

"Not only can this undermine your colleague's authority, but it also assumes that the most desirable characteristics a woman can have are those linked to her appearance, rather than those linked to her skills and character," it said.

The course also recommended that staff do not to tell disabled colleagues they are "inspiring", as they should be treated with the same respect as "non-disabled people".

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Commentators said many more serious points were also made, it is understood.

They included not disregarding a racist comment as a joke and refusing to learn a staff member's name because it might be difficult to pronounce.

HRP also has a guide on avoiding the use of sexist or gender-based language, produced by the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, which was obtained by the Mail on Sunday under Freedom of Information laws.

Within the 16-page booklet, it suggested that words such as 'man' and 'mankind' should be swapped for 'human' and 'humankind'.

An HRP spokesperson told the paper that the guides were for reference only.

They added: "We are committed to creating a working culture where everyone feels valued and accepted."