‘Age is about as totally unrelated to job performance as any measure can be,’ Shmidt and Hunter.
The purpose of the 50+ resource group is to provide resources and support for the Diversity Project workstreams where they interconnect with older workers.
The changing demographics of the workforce mean one in three employees will be over 50 by 2025. The 2021 England and Wales census showed that 38% of the population were 50+, an increase of 17% since 2011. The under 50 demographic grew by 1% during the same timescale. There are similar trends in Scotland.
The vast majority of UK employers claim to care about ageism in the workplace but are not acting to combat it. Recent research by the Chartered Management Institute found that 85% of managers said their organisation was age inclusive but only 5% thought older workers were under-represented or reported proactive efforts to recruit them.
The pandemic has led to a wave of resignations and early retirements with three in five over-50s leaving the workforce sooner than planned.
To reverse this trend, and build an inclusive culture for older workers across the industry, member firms need to ask themselves:
• Are older people receiving the same training and professional development opportunities as their younger colleagues?
• Are they being promoted in the same way?
• Do they have policies that make the workplace attractive for older workers?
Are they proactively recruiting older workers in the same way they recruit graduates?
• Are older workers being made redundant as they reach a certain age or encouraged to take early retirement?