Ageism isn’t a new thing, but the statistics are shockingly high for reported prejudice in the workplace.
We are proud at Axiom to say, that our youngest employee is 17 and our oldest 61, so we make sure we recruit based on the needs of the business and the available talent and relevant skills for the roles we have in the office. But clearly, this isn’t the case for many people who are still experiencing ageism at work. With an ageing population and the challenges, we can face in finding the right candidate for the vacancy, I am surprised at the level of prejudice that still exists.
We naturally assume that ageism affects those who are older in the workplace but young people can feel discriminated against especially when a role is asking for experience, that can mean young people won’t apply as they don’t perceive they will be what the employer is looking for.
Ageism tends to impact those who are older, especially those who are over 50, more than 1 in 10 adults believe they didn’t get a role due to their age and sadly there is still a genitive attitude towards ageing which is held by almost 50% of the population.
The laws changed nearly 20 years ago, in 2006. The Equality Act 2010 includes a provision to protect all people of all ages regarding recruitment, rewards, recognition and promotion, plus redundancy and training. And a specific retirement age now needs to be objectively justified, which is very difficult for most employers to be able to do.
The government has been moving the retirement age for pensions for some years now and I imagine there is more to come, with the current retirement age at 67, many of the post-war baby boomers are now looking to retire and this will swell the over-65 population to its biggest number ever, at 2.7million, so encouraging people to stay in work or to take up new careers is essential.
There was a great report produced by the CIPD, called ageing gracefully, I don’t know about you, but I am planning on ageing disgracefully, working as long as I can, and for as long as I enjoy my job, I am probably one of the lucky ones, owning my own business, having a great team around me and some great clients, does make that an easier challenge than for some.