Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Are the "Best Companies To Work For" Ageist?

According to research carried out by Dr Sharon Bolton, Lancaster University Management School, the annual "The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For" do not generally reflect age diversity. While companies in the list use it as a tool to position themselves as "employers of choice" and they appear to offer the magical formula of making work fun, Bolton suggests that this "party" culture is also an exclusive club for the under 35's. Analysis of The Best Companies to Work For 2005 reveals that, on average, 56% of employees working for "best companies" are under 35 and only 6% over 55 years old, compared to only 36% of the general working population being under 35 and 15% over 55.
“Top 100 companies are defined by their approach to best practice people management and described by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as a ‘key benchmark’. If these companies are the ‘best’ then they should be investigated as to how this links to the ‘best’ for a diverse workforce. Currently, there is no scrutiny of issues such as gender, race and disability. Given the references to the aging workforce, a demographic time bomb and growing structural inequalities, the UK government should be pointing out that the ‘best’ companies are missing out on some of the ‘best’ the UK labour market has to offer.”
Source: News Release Lancaster University Management School (March 7, 2006)

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