In recent weeks the media has placed a heavy focus on the concept of “ageism” as a discriminating factor in employment.
With mature-aged unemployment rates steadily increasing, the Australian people and the Australian media have started to question if Australian people really do have an issue with age diversity.
Is ageism the new discrimination barrier in the workplace?
After the release of the University of Melbourne’s latest study “‘Rusty, invisible and threatening’: ageing, capital and employability”, which exposed the issue of ageism as the next discrimination challenge for the workplace, the media began to question the difference between perception and reality.
How do we know that it’s the grey hair that put the employer off, rather than their lack of skills?
The University of Melbourne’s study collected data from mature aged job hunters and explored their own personal experiences within their job hunting journeys.
It revealed these three main themes associated with ageism as a discriminator in the workplace, which were:
Rusty: Mature aged job seekers believed they were perceived to be slow and unfit and at risk of injury.
Invisible: Women surveyed believed that they began to become invisible when their looks faded in the traditional sense. Others noted that their prospective managers face dropped when they walked into the room.
Threatening: They believed that there was a general misconception that mature aged workers were resistant to change.
At LiveHire, this data got us thinking… are these themes what majority of Australian workers really think of mature aged workers?
Do they view them as old-fashioned, with no fresh or innovative ideas?
Or do they see the value that they bring in creating a more positive and diverse work environment?
So, in true LiveHire fashion, we sent a survey to our Australian worker data base asking them the following question:
“Does age diversity contribute to a more positive working environment?”
And at LiveHire, we were thrilled with the response!
85% of workers responded “Yes”, with a mere 15% responding “No”.
So, what does this mean for perception, versus reality?
Well, we can’t necessarily answer that question, but what we can say is Australian workers want diversity, in every form!
Hooray for progressive and diverse work environments!
At LiveHire, we work with the media to generate Australian worker based surveys on request. If you’re interested in sourcing or citing LiveHire for a past, present, or future surveys, please contact us at [email protected] .