HR managers may try to stamp out discrimination but new research has found the majority of women still think ageism is a major obstacle – now, female job seekers appear to be taking ever-more drastic measures in attempt to level the playing field.
Women’s employment charity Fit for Work collaborated with cosmetics company the Heat Group to conduct an investigation into ageism and the workplace – and the results are somewhat worrying.
- Over 60 per cent of women said they believe employers are more likely to hire a female candidate if they’re under that age of 40.
- Nearly half of women surveyed said they felt they’d been discriminated against because of their age – 23 per cent said they were deemed too young and 23 per cent said they were considered too old.
- More than 90 per cent of women said they thought employers consider candidates’ physical appearance before making a hiring decision.
When asked if they’d ever taken steps to elude discrimination, over a third of women admitted to deliberately altering their make-up, clothing or hairstyle in attempt to fit the employer’s ideal age.
Approximately 1 in 20 revealed they’d gone as far as cosmetic surgery in a bit to increase their appeal to employers.
“Women are unfortunately judged more harshly than men when it comes to their appearance, and this includes their age,” said Gillian Franklin, managing director of The Heat Group. “Now we have a worrying 39% of women who are changing their looks based on their idea of the ‘ideal age’ for a job.”
Donna de Zwart, CEO of Fitted for Work, said the charity was focused on eliminating ageism within the workplace by encouraging employers to value personal strengths above all else; “We will continue to remind employers to focus on skills, experience and attitude over a person's age.”
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