Is Age Nothing but Another Number to Accountants?

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Survey regarding age discrimination among accountants.

Younger employees have traditionally felt discriminated against in firms, especially when it comes to the dishing out of bonuses under the 'lock-step' system which rewards longer service.

Accountants are split 50:50 as to whether there is Age Discrimination in their profession.

In a recent survey carried out by the finance recruitment website totallyfinancial.com, 47% of respondents believed that there was age discrimination and 43% believed that there was no discrimination. 10% said that they were unsure.

"These figures are discouraging for people at either end of the age spectrum" said Bernard Howard, Managing Director of totallyfinancial.com and a former ACA with PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Those who are looking for a new accountancy job or to move up the career ladder may already be thinking that they are too old or too young and may be discriminated against. They won't be pleased to note that 50% of their colleagues agree with them!"

Of the people surveyed, around 1/3 said they themselves had experienced discrimination, with two-thirds (72%) citing it was for being too young.

"Younger employees have traditionally felt discriminated against in firms, especially when it comes to the dishing out of bonuses under the 'lock-step' system which rewards longer service." continued Mr Howard. "They'll be hoping that the new age discrimination laws and the debate surrounding lock-step will result in a fairer, more meritocratic way of doing things."

The new Age Discrimination law is nearly 6 months old, and two-thirds (73%) of accountants think that the legislation is a good thing. However, only 17% think that it will make any difference, with 62% answering 'to some extent' and 1 in 5 (22%) believing that it will not make a difference.

"There may be some light at the end of the tunnel" commented Mr Howard. "The majority of accountants do think that the profession can change but admittedly there is a long way to go to change perceptions."

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Richard Phillips
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