Workers feel they aren’t taken seriously due to their gender, age or appearance

New research from CABA has revealed that one in five UK workers fear their performance is judged by how old they are

Workers feel they aren’t taken seriously due to their gender

In theory, Britain’s anti-discrimination legislation should enable workers to feel that they’re being judged on their performance and not on their physical attributes. However, new research has revealed that this isn’t always the reality. In fact, the study from CABA, the charity that supports the wellbeing of chartered accountants, has shown that employees across the UK fear not being taken seriously due to their age, appearance or gender.

Based on a survey of 2,000 workers, the research found that 21% of employees feel that they are not taken seriously due to their age. And it seems as if this is particularly concerning for Generation Y and baby boomers: 43% of workers between the ages of 16 and 24 and 21% of people between 55 and 64 worry about being judged due to their age. Additionally, women feel the burden of their years or lack thereof more than men, with 25% of them being concerned about their age holding them back compared to 17% of men.

However, age isn’t the only factor that women feel is held against them: almost one in five are anxious that they are perceived differently due to their sex. And again it seems as if younger generations are more worried about this, with almost a quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds feeling they are not taken seriously due to their gender.

Young people also worry more about their colleagues and bosses judging them for their appearance. While an average 19% of the people surveyed feel their looks had an impact on how they are perceived in the office, 29% of 16- to 24-year-olds are conscious about how their appearance affects people’s assumptions.

Commenting on the research, Kelly Feehan, services director at CABA, said: “We’re in the most open and accepting [of[ eras, yet some people still worry they’re hampered by their sex, age, or how they choose to express themselves.” She continued that “whilst we’re making progress, more clearly needs to be done”.

For entrepreneurs, this research should provide ample evidence about how vital it is to establish a welcoming culture in which every employee feels appreciated.

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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