I was conducting a new program yesterday and in one of the sessions a common theme emerged from a number of the groups during an exercise. Ageism. In discussing the issue with a number of participants they firmly held the belief that their organisation discriminated (consciously or unconsiously) against older members of the team.
I have had lots of anecdotal evidence like this but have rarely come across evidentiary support. Well, here it is:
A labour force survey in the Europe demonstrates that older workers do not receive similar levels of training as their younger counterparts. The question is “why?”. Some reasons were given but the category of 21% “Other Reasons” begs further investigation.
I know of a number of people who get called for interviews but regularly miss out on jobs post interview due to being ‘over-qualified’. I speak to a number fo people who claim they have difficulty securing permanency due to their age and have to live from contract to contract if they can get one. Many people complain that they don’t get the opportunity to take up trainng to refresh their skills.
Are we inherently ageist?
How will this come to pass as the workforce and population continues to age?
How can we capture and engage and utilise the expertise and wisdom of our elders (ie people over 45!)