[Background for Article on Ageism – the costs and the new solution]

Ageism in the Workplace – it’s the hidden and ignored ‘pandemic’

The Budget and Covid-19 have brought Ageism back into focus – particularly for mature women who received no attention in the budget.

Finally, a new Community provides a simple, powerful solution that easily and quickly connects employers to the over 40s.

Firstly, is Ageism real?

All discrimination based on the unchangeable such as race and gender is dumb and wasteful, but ageism takes dumb to a new level. After all, if we are lucky, all of us get old. (Ideas from Jane Caro, Sunday Life, 10/10/20)

The costs to the Australian economy are huge – in 2012, Deloitte Access Economics research showed…

Growing Participation 3% by workers aged 55+ will boost GDP by $33 bill – or around 1.6% of national income.

Grow 5%? $48 bill in extra GDP – that’s $2,115 for every person, every year!  Today the boost to GDP would be much bigger – shame there’s been no update of this critical research.

Why do we tolerate employers breaking the law many thousands of times a week? The reason is tragically simple: Employers don’t believe they discriminate – their recruiting staff are millennials who accept The 4 ridiculous myths about older workers as true. So its “we’re just hiring the best, not discriminating.”

Ageism also gets pushed aside by other types of discrimination, and is rarely discussed at Seminars. All are problems, but their economic and social costs are relatively insignificant compared to age discrimination.

We ran a Poll last week on LinkedIn and the 157 responses verified our desk research – the belief by many job seekers that ageism is not a major problem. Overwhelmingly (82%), it was the over 40s who believed it wasn’t  major – now our new Poll aims to find out why.

While ageism affects everybody, women cop the ‘double whammy’ with ageism kicking in much earlier. This inevitably delivers shameful long term outcomes – e.g. the fastest-growing group of homeless people are women over 55.

Fiona Ninnes, a young 61: “Being old and being female, people don’t want to know you,” she said. “Once you walk in the door and they see your grey hair, that’s it. You get told, ‘do volunteer stuff.’ ” (SMH, 7/10)

What’s the impact of Covid-19?

University of Melbourne economist Mark Wooden: “Older workers are less likely to lose their job but, when they do, it’s much harder for them to find a job. Many employers think you are done by 50.” So the long term impact of Covid-19 will be particularly tough for the Mature.

University of Sydney’s Marian Baird said older women who lost jobs received no attention in the Budget and not boosting childcare was a “massive oversight”. It keeps women in their 30s and 40s out of the workforce and the grandmothers required to childmind.

Is there now a solution?

Yes, but not the much repeated government ‘solution’ – the mature taking personal responsibility, and doing more training at taxpayers’ expense (Einstein’s insanity?). Upskilling is just a part of the solution.

The solution is a new Community: gather the Mature together, find out what types of jobs they ideally want – part time, full time, job share, intern, volunteer, etc. Provide them with the resources, networks, free training and a dose of realism to get them job ready. Then give employers access using AI for almost no cost.

Stable and Wise is such a community, launching nationally in November. There are 8 reasons why it will contain the best candidates in Australia – and their age is irrelevant.

People over 40 can Register Here and quickly increase their chances to find the right job.

Note: This is probably a feature story, not a news story – perhaps for the weekend papers/weekend magazines.

For more information or to explore our research and claims in more detail….

Toby Marshall, Founder | tobym@leadcreation.com.au | 0402 799 746