English journalists must have age on their minds these days. In the same week, articles about age-discrimination appeared in The Independent (7/19/00), and The Observer (7/23/00).
The Independent presented a case history:
Skandia, a Swedish insurance company, set up a forecasting team to analyze their business, worldwide. The teams were comprised of employees from different staff levels, with varying lengths of employment:
The Independent went on to demonstrate why such teams would be impossible to create in English financial service and dot-com companies. The article explained that financial service companies don't hire anyone over 43, and dot-coms limit employment to people under 35.
In order to get the same spectrum of wisdom that Skandia can tap internally, the financial service and dot-com companies have to rely on advice from experienced professionals at universities and consultancies.
The Independent suggested that a better solution would be to adjust compensation levels and working conditions of older workers so that they would be willing to keep working. [Oh my. Is that the problem? Those old 30- to 40-somethings don't want to work anymore?]By surveying recruiters, The Observer discovered that:
Now who can argue with that?