Age discrimination remains a significant concern in workplaces, as nearly one in five individuals report experiencing such bias.
According to research conducted by Canada Life, 18 per cent of adults aged 55 or older have encountered age discrimination either in their current job or a previous one. Although this percentage has slightly decreased from 19 per cent in the past year, the issue persists. This issue is particularly relevant as more older employees are choosing to continue or return to work due to the ongoing cost of living crisis.
The study reveals that these financial challenges are compounding other pressures faced by older workers. Canada Life’s research indicates that nearly half of all working individuals (49 per cent) believe there are fewer opportunities for older employees to advance in their careers. Additionally, 47 per cent of older workers feel increased pressure to perform well at their jobs, while 31 per cent believe there has been a negative shift in attitudes towards older employees.
Furthermore, over a quarter of employees (26 per cent) believe that their employers now place less value on older workers compared to before the crisis began.
Dan Crook, sales director of Canada Life Protection, expressed concern regarding this issue. “Older employees are an invaluable asset to numerous employers, and it’s disconcerting that workplace discrimination remains a prevalent issue. Remarkably, our findings show that sentiments have hardly changed over the past two years.”
Crook adds: “Not only are older workers still confronting discrimination, but they are also contending with additional forms of pressure that affect their professional lives. Although it has been two years since the onset of the cost-of-living crisis, its financial and emotional repercussions persist. Regardless of external circumstances, employers have a responsibility to foster an environment where employees of all ages and positions feel supported, empowered to advance and flourish, and most importantly, free from outdated or offensive prejudices.”