HomeEmployee ExperienceCultureAge without limits: UK launches first anti-ageism campaign to combating workplace age discrimination

Age without limits: UK launches first anti-ageism campaign to combating workplace age discrimination

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According to the Centre for Ageing Better, 37% of people in their 50s and 60s who experienced age discrimination in the past year reported that it most commonly occurred at work.

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Age discrimination is an issue that continues to persist in our society, particularly in the workplace. Despite advancements in diversity and inclusion efforts, a recent campaign by Ageing Better reveals that half of adults aged over 50 in England have experienced age discrimination in the past year. This campaign, titled “Age Without Limits,” aims to challenge ageism, empower individuals, and change the way we think about aging.

The reality of ageism

Age discrimination affects individuals in various aspects of their lives, but the workplace remains a significant battleground. According to the Centre for Ageing Better, 37% of people in their 50s and 60s who experienced age discrimination in the past year reported that it most commonly occurred at work. This discrimination can manifest in various ways, such as being turned down for job opportunities or receiving inadequate training and development opportunities.

The impact on mental wellbeing

Age discrimination not only impacts an individual’s professional life but also their mental wellbeing. Being subjected to ageist ideas or beliefs can be incredibly damaging, leading to decreased self-esteem, feelings of exclusion, and limited opportunities for personal growth and fulfilment. Moreover, research by the Centre for Ageing Better shows that older people are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants for mental health issues and less likely to be referred for talking therapies compared to younger adults.

The Age Without Limits campaign

In response to the alarming prevalence of ageism, Ageing Better has launched the Age Without Limits campaign. This three-year initiative aims to challenge societal misconceptions about aging, tackle age discrimination, and empower individuals to age with confidence[^1^]. The campaign utilizes various strategies, including advertising, public relations, and social media, to spark conversations and drive change.

Key objectives

The Age Without Limits campaign has set forth several key objectives to address ageism effectively:

  1. Change Perceptions: The campaign seeks to alter the way people think about aging. By challenging ageist beliefs and stereotypes, Ageing Better aims to create a more inclusive and age-friendly society.

  2. Empower Individuals: Age Without Limits aims to empower individuals to combat age discrimination by providing them with information, tools, and resources. Through a dedicated website, individuals can access valuable resources, including a quiz to assess their own age-related biases[^1^].

  3. Encourage Action: The campaign aims to mobilize individuals, organizations, and communities across England to join the cause and take action against ageism. An annual day of action will provide an opportunity for collective efforts in challenging age discrimination[^1^].

The role of employers

Employers play a crucial role in combating age discrimination and fostering age-friendly workplaces. The Age Without Limits campaign calls on employers to sign the age-friendly employer pledge, demonstrating their commitment to creating inclusive environments for older workers. To achieve this, employers are encouraged to consider the following:

  • Language: Review job advertisements and ensure they do not contain age-related biases or exclusionary language. Words and phrases that unintentionally deter older candidates should be eliminated.

  • Flexible Working: Provide flexible working opportunities that accommodate the needs and preferences of older workers. This flexibility can contribute to a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

  • Menopause Support: Create an open and supportive atmosphere for discussions around menopause. Recognizing the impact of menopause on employees’ well-being can contribute to a more understanding and inclusive workplace.

  • Training and Development: Ensure that training and development opportunities are equally accessible to employees of all ages. Older employees should not be overlooked when it comes to professional growth and advancement.

The impact on the workforce

Age discrimination not only impacts individuals but also has wider implications for the workforce. The Centre for Ageing Better highlights that 460,000 people aged 50-64 are currently out of work but would like to be employed, with ageism being one of the key barriers they face. By addressing age discrimination and promoting age diversity, organizations can tap into a valuable pool of talent and expertise.

The need for change

Age discrimination is a societal issue that affects us all. It is crucial to recognize that ageism is not only harmful to individuals but also has far-reaching consequences for society as a whole. With the population rapidly aging, ageism has the potential to hinder productivity and impact the economy. By challenging ageist attitudes and promoting inclusivity, we can create a society that values and embraces people of all ages.

Making improvements

Age discrimination in the workplace is a pressing issue that demands attention. The Age Without Limits campaign serves as a catalyst for change, urging individuals, organizations, and communities to challenge ageism and create a more inclusive society.

By empowering individuals, encouraging action, and promoting age-friendly workplaces, we can build a future where age is not a barrier but a source of strength and wisdom.

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