An anonymous survey of professionals from 122 workplaces aged 35-65 has found 26 per cent have experienced age discrimination in the workplace. The survey by IT support provider Cheeky Munkey aimed to better understand the workplace experiences of this age bracket and compare them with those of younger generations. The findings suggest HR teams need to make changes or lose out to age-diverse competitors who are investing in their older employees and gaining from their valuable experience and knowledge.
The survey found 51 per cent of employees who had not recruited training in the last year felt that it was due to them being less likely to move job so they feel they are losing out, just by staying faithful. This in turn damages motivation and performance. Meanwhile, the survey found women can face ‘dual discrimination’, with both age and gender working against them. 39 per cent of women over 35 say their age has worked against them, compared with 32 per cent of men.
In terms of the benefits over 35s bring to the workplace, most saw their key skills as leadership, management and mentoring. Again, there were some gender differences, with 64 per cent of men answering ‘leadership and management’ compared to 52 per cent of women. This may reflect the increased likelihood of male employees to be in high ranking positions within the workplace. The survey also found that many workers over 35 believe they have skills that are not being put to use. 52 per cent said they have more to offer and this is particularly true for men – 64 per cent of men reported feeling underutilised, compared with 42 per cent of women.
The result of the unfair treatment that the over 35s feel is detrimental to engagement and motivation – potentially also having a negative impact on their confidence and mental health and increasing absenteeism.
The media focus on millennials is overshadowing the needs of other generations in the workplace, when millennials are actually a minority. The age bracket being overlooked are those between the ages of 35-65 who make up a hugely significant percentage of the current workforce. The UK labour market boom has recently been fuelled by the older generation. It is vital for HR teams to engage a more varied age group into equal consideration, especially since we are now living and working for longer.
To find out more about the survey, visit: