Young, ambitious, and will sleep with the boss

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The Independent Online
YOUNG PEOPLE are prepared to cheat, lie and sleep with their boss if it would help them progress in their career, according to a survey published yesterday.

One in five 18 to 24-year-olds value a career or gaining qualifications more than family and relationships, and nearly the same number admit they would do something ethically or morally wrong in order to achieve success.

Thirteen per cent of the 950 youngsters questioned for the Bread for Life campaign funded by a bakers' and millers organisation confessed that they would sleep with their boss if it offered the possibility of career advancement.

The report also shows that ambitious young women are more likely than their male counterparts to lead unhealthy lives while striving for success. Fifty-one per cent of young women compared to 37 per cent of young men are likely to skip meals, neglect exercise, and drink and smoke heavily in pursuit of their career goals.

While drinking levels for men are relatively stable, women's consumption of alcohol is on the increase.

Helen Wilkinson, a member of the the independent thinktank Demos, which launched the report yesterday, said: "The desire and drive for success on male terms means that women are increasingly mimicking male dysfunctions particularly in relation to erratic and unhealthy eating patterns.

"There is an urgent need for a more sustainable model of success and women must break free of these dysfunctional and self-destructive patterns of behaviour by linking our notions of success and power, with healthy eating."

A separate survey published yesterday showed that more men are seeking medical attention for a vice traditionally seen as the plight of the bored housewife - compulsive shopping.

According to a report in the medical journal Addiction Today an increasing number of men are finding themselves in a spiral of debt because of their addiction.

Chris Westwood, director of the Addiction Treatment Programme at a Bristol Hospital, which deals with compulsive shoppers, commented: "Marketing has increasingly targeted men to sell them more clothes, toiletries and some areas like cosmetics which they were previously excluded from."

He said men could be secretive and added: "If the man is in charge of the family finances then it can go on undiscovered until there is a real problem with debt."