While many people view discrimination as unfair treatment based on race, gender and disability, ageism is one of the highest forms of discrimination experienced in the workplace.
In a survey by Always Designing for People (ADP), out of 1,908 Australian workers who responded, nearly a third (31%) reported experiencing a form of discrimination at work, with ageism topping the list.
The survey showed 11% of the respondents reported they had experienced age discrimination in their current role. Younger workers experienced ageism more than older workers – 38.5% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 21% for the over 55s.
With age discrimination a problem in the workplace let’s explore why age really is just a number.
When recruiting, you have an obligation to hire the best candidate for the role based on skills, qualifications or work experiences. Hiring managers should refrain from making decisions based on personality or cultural fit as this can lead to making unfair assumptions.
For instance, if a candidate in their 20s appears enthusiastic compared to a candidate in their 60s who seems calm and collected, it would be unfair to assume one is more passionate, the other is less driven.
Ensuring you have talent from a range of age groups allows different perspectives and gives your workplace more substance and unique strengths, so employ diversity in your recruitment processes.