Australian Seniors has published a recently-conducted survey about ageism and guess what? Surprise, surprise! Many older Australians have experienced ageism when looking for work and, post-Covid in a competitive job market, it is getting worse.
According to the Australian Seniors’ Ageing in the Workforce report, one-in-five Australians over the age of 50 believe they have experienced ageism in the workplace, more than double the 9.6 per cent who reported feeling the same way in 2016.
Additionally, 42.7 per cent felt patronised due to their age - up from 13.6 per cent in 2016.
Even more concerning, 45 per cent said they had decided not to apply for jobs because they felt their age would be too big a barrier.
Culturally, as a nation, we need to address this major issue in much the same way we have confronted racism and sexism at work.
Age should be no barrier to employment. The Federal Government spends millions of dollars every year to educate, train and encourage employment in young people and not for a minute am I suggesting that that is not appropriate.
However, many older Australians will need to access some sort of social services without regular employment, so doesn't it make economic sense to incentivise companies to employ men and women over 50?
Scarily, some commentators believe that people over 50 who lost their jobs during the turbulent Covid period in 2020 and 2021 may never work again.
If you are over 50 and trying to find employment, don't give up! Use your networks, think outside the square, keep up to date with technology and keep trying. Anecdotally, it seems to take an average of about about 10 - 15 weeks to score a job so buckle in for the long haul.
Yahoo Finance picked up the Australian Seniors story and interviewed me: the link is below.