Age discrimination is the great hidden diversity challenge in the Australian workplace. Unlike other diversity challenges, there is little recognition of age bias within most companies. If it is not addressed, the Australian economy won’t achieve its full potential.
Challenger and COTA NSW have partnered to develop a workplace program that supports mature-age workers in employment and encourages employers to create working environments in which older workers can thrive.
This report looks at current practices, experiences and barriers, and the types of support and intervention that will best meet the needs of employees and employers across a range of businesses.
The research by Newgate Research found that older workers are not receiving the opportunities provided to younger workers. They are more likely to be made redundant and stigma remains around their competence with technology and openness to change. Older women, working part-time or on a casual basis, are most likely to experience discrimination.
When older workers do experience discrimination, they rarely take action to address it. And when employers are confronted with an age discrimination issue, the majority do nothing.
Employers are missing out on a major opportunity to reap the benefits from the experience, commitment and knowledge of older workers.