According to Andy Briggs, the government’s newly appointed adviser on older workers, ageism in the workplace is just as bad as racism. Regardless of whether you share this sentiment, there can be little doubt that ageism in the workplace is commonplace even if the discrimination is unintentional.
In an interview with The Times, relayed in the article below, Briggs pointed out that older workers “have a real breath of knowledge and may in fact relate to customers better with a bit of experience.” Indeed, mature workers have many valuable attributes including loyalty, in-depth industry knowledge, confidence, leadership skills and diplomacy all of which leave them well-equipped to deal with office politics and other challenging situations.
Yet research shows that over-50s applying for a job are five times more likely to get an interview if they do not disclose their age. While most businesses will strive for a diverse workforce, age is one category which is often overlooked. Yet employers who turn their backs on older applicants are missing out on real potential and would do well to remember that millennials will learn from their baby boomer and X generation colleagues as well as the other way round.
Given that our prime minister is 60 and the new US president will be either 69 (Hilary Clinton) or 70 (Donald Trump) , it is a shame that British businesses do not embrace older workers in the same way that Westminster does.
Ageism in workplace ‘just as bad as racism’ Rosemary Bennett, Social Affairs Correspondent October 24 2016, 12:01am, The Times Ageism at work is just as bad as racism or sexism, according to the government’s new adviser on older workers. Andy Briggs, the older workers champion, said that although he may not be doing full-on executive hours beyond pensionable age he planned to work into his 70s. Mr Briggs, who is 50 and chief executive of the insurer Aviva, said that there was a mismatch between those in their 50s, 60s and 70s who wanted to work and employers, many of whom have an “unconscious age bias”.