Q: My colleagues and I have noticed that many of the new interns and junior staff members at our office seem to be from the same circle of friends of one of our senior management team. I’m used to people’s children getting work experience at our office, but this seems like outright nepotism! Is there a good way to address this, or should I stay quiet?The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” remains all too true. Whether it’s politicians employing their spouses in an administrative role, or celebrity offspring securing enviable work experience thanks to a notorious surname, nepotism can be unjust at best and unethical at worst. A 2014 survey of more than 5,000 people published by the Debrett’s Foundation found that 72 per cent of children from privileged backgrounds admitted to using family connections to secure work placements. Around a quarter of all young people considered the UK’s system for getting work experience and internships to be “unfair”.
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