Ageism in the Workplace Survey.
Ageism in the Workplace Survey
workingwise.co.uk is launching an ‘Ageism in the Workplace’ survey. Covid-19 has highlighted the ageism that exists all around us, including the ageism that we have internalised.
When it comes to work, age is often omitted from other forms of diversity monitoring, but the pandemic has shown that it is the youngest workers who have suffered most so far in terms of job loss, with statistics showing older workers are another group that is likely to be disadvantaged, with those who lose their jobs expecting to find it harder than most to get a new one.
Coach Judith Wardell, founder of Time of Your Life, worries about both external and internalised ageism, where employees feel they should take early retirement or ‘make way’ for younger workers, which she fears could increase during the pandemic.
Yet people increasingly need to earn for longer as the pension age increases. We therefore need to tackle ageism at all stages in the employment process, from recruitment and the language and images used in job adverts to promotion and training.
But before we tackle ageism at work, we need to know the extent to which it exists, which is why workingwise.co.uk has launched two ageism within the workplace surveys, one aimed at workers and the other at employers. It will be interesting to see how the two perspectives match up. The surveys, sponsored by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and UBS, cover a range of issues.
The employee/candidate survey covers everything from the importance of choosing an age-friendly employer, potential discrimination, multigenerational mixing in the workplace, perceptions of how younger colleagues view older workers and vice versa, training opportunities, opportunities to change career path, a sense of being valued, job search and career breaks.
The employer survey focuses on what kind of support employers might offer, from mid-career reviews, retraining opportunities, reverse mentoring and career change to menopause workshops as well as whether they monitor for the age-related impact of policies and practice, for instance, around redundancy decisions.
A spokesperson for UBS said: “We are sponsoring this survey because we recognise that there is enormous value in enabling our employees to have lasting life-long careers with UBS and with that, supporting them through whichever obstacles and changes they’re presented with through their whole career – from changing caring responsibilities to menopause, right through to phased retirement.”
A spokesperson for the The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), stated: “This scheme helps people get back on track by protecting them when authorised financial services firms fail. We’re independent, cover all regulated financial services in the UK, and since our launch in 2001 we’ve come to the aid of millions of people and paid out billions in compensation. We’re committed to creating a truly inclusive workplace where everyone can succeed in achieving their personal and professional goals. Every job is flexible, our colleagues age from 17 to 73, and we’re in the Top 50 Most Inclusive Employers in the UK. Our award-winning approach has been shaped by engaging our people so we’re proud to sponsor the workingwise.co.uk survey.”
Judith Wardell says she would like to see more focus on enabling people to keep working as long as they want and need to. Work brings health benefits and a sense of purpose, as well as financial rewards she states. “We need to think about how we support people through a 50-year career. Reskilling has to be normal and employers need to think more radically,” she says.