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Study: Age discrimination now a bigger issue than gender inequality in the City

Study: Age discrimination now a bigger issue than gender inequality in the City

Age discrimination is now seen as a more widepsread inequality issue than gender inequality in the City of London.

That is according to new research carried out by Astbury Marsden, which has established that fewer than one-quarter (22 per cent) of professionals operating in the UK's financial hub believe their employer is "very committed" to tackling ageism in their workplace.

By contrast, some 33.5 per cent of the 1,655 employees questioned feel their company is "very committed" to tackling inequality by promoting greater gender diversity in their organisation.

Indeed, the survey also indicated that companies are prioritising the eradication of discrimination in terms of race, sexual orientation, disability and religion higher than inequality related to age, as more participants said their firm is actively combating these issues than ageism.

Furthermore, it was established that problems with discrimination and a lack of commitment towards diversity are more likely to be prevalent in departments such as sales and trading, rather than in middle or back-office areas.

Chief operating officer of Astbury Marsden Mark Cameron insisted these results show that progress is being made in terms of tackling sex discrimination in the City, as companies are "getting far better at supporting and developing female staff".

"The huge effort that London's financial services sector has made to broaden its workforce is clearly reflected in positive feedback we have had from employees," the official noted.

However, Mr Cameron went on to say that although gender inequality is becoming a less prevalent problem in this sector, more work needs to be done to resolve the fact that "negative attitudes towards co-workers on the basis of age" appear to be on the rise.

"Legislation on age discrimination only came into force in 2010. As we have seen with racial and gender diversity, it often takes a period of years for attitudes to change, and this seems to be the case with age discrimination," he added.

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Posted by Francesca Witney