It’s the employers who really need to change

The ‘Beyond time’ article (DW 2 November) spoke of how the design sector is ‘lagging behind’ in implementing Government legislation, following the introduction of the Employment Equality Act 2006.

I see these new legislative requirements as a fresh opportunity for today’s students and tomorrow’s designers to get to interview more frequently, narrowing the often tedious and default rejections based on a fleeting glance of a CV.

Employment legislation will inevitably continue to evolve, taking the forward-thinking and ethically switched on with them. However, I cannot see the design sector being too eager to follow suit.

There is, and has always been, an inherent attitude problem towards accepting outsiders into the niche. Laws can develop, statements can be made, but, ultimately, it comes back to the employers to make a change.

No matter how many laws are created in favour of candidates seeking employment, we will always struggle up against the oddballs that insist on ‘tea makers’, ’12-hour working days’ and ‘shelf-stacker pay’. It is this bully mentality that needs to change; adherence to the rules will follow.

Any employer worth working for won’t be discriminatory against age. They will employ designers based on their talent and genial characteristics, not on how many years they have left until they claim their pension.

Stephen Willard, Director of design, Shilling Communication, Liss, Hampshire

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