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A study from the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) has revealed that one in six workers feel they have been discriminated against when applying for a job or promotion at some point in their career because of favouritism in the workplace.
The findings from the research back up a little-known theory that there is a tendency for people to recruit workers who bear similarities to themselves or to others in their company and this is done, for the most part, unconsciously.
In total, over a third of respondents felt they have been discriminated against when trying to move company or applying for a more senior position in the same company. Age is the most common reason (17%), closely followed by favouritism/the other candidate fitting the company’s ‘personality’ better (16%).
Denise Keating, Chief Executive, Employers Forum on Age commented:
“Whilst age is the biggest discriminator in the workplace, it is important not to overlook other biases, such as favouritism or gender. There seems to be a very high instance of people being selected for a new job or promotion if their ‘face fits’, which unfortunately means some people feel that talent isn’t enough to overcome prejudices. Whilst many companies have solid diversity policies, this may not run throughout the company down to individual team level, which is an issue that needs to be addressed.”