Age discrimination rife in accountancy profession

Age discrimination in the accountancy profession is rife, according to the latest survey by niche job board

Tue, 17 Sept 2013Age discrimination in the accountancy profession is rife, according to the latest survey by niche job board

More than half (57%) of the 2,011 accountants surveyed between 1 August and 13 September 2013 believe that ageism is alive and kicking in the industry. Nearly half (48%) stated that people in the industry find it harder to get a new job or promoted once they reach the age of 40.
Of the respondents over the age of 40, more than a third (37%) believe they have missed out on developing their career (either an external job or internal promotion) because they have crossed this age threshold.  
According to the research, part of the problem is that that bosses prefer to recruit younger professionals because their salary expectations are not as high and are prepared to put in longer hours, particularly in the tough economic climate. Some believe companies are looking to ‘mould’ their employees to their requirements and there is a perception that ‘older’ accountants may not be willing to change the way they work.

Others believe that there is a perception among partners and senior management of companies that accountants who are aged 40+ are not as ‘tech savvy’ as their younger colleagues.

Simon Wright, operations director, at, says: “Whilst the industry needs to continually embrace new and recent graduates to the fold and train them up, accountants who have many more years of valuable experience should not be put out to pasture either.
“It is shocking in the 21st century that the majority of the profession believe age discrimination to be so prevalent. HR departments should be scrutinising their equality policies and ensuring that all applicants, regardless of age, are given a detailed breakdown of why they were unsuccessful. Transparency is crucial.”

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