Russam has signed the Age-friendly Employer Pledge
Our society is quite fearful of age. The fact that age is a protected characteristic just like disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation, is all the evidence we need to know that older people face discrimination.
Working in the talent business we are talking about people every day, discussing their relevance for a role, and find ourselves skirting around the question we know cannot be asked about age.
It is interesting that age seems less important for interim candidates than for those being considered for a permanent position. For interim roles, the expertise that comes through many years of experience is valued but for permanent roles, age seems to be negative and perhaps not quite fitting with the culture of the organisation they wish to join.
Age and retirement are high on the agenda. Many workers decided to review their pension outlook over the Covid lockdown period with a ‘there’s more to life’ attitude alongside factors such as Brexit, the life expectancy of our society (although this is changing again), and the cost of state pensions due to the demographics in our society.
Also, the job market is changing and there are labour shortages and companies may need to look more actively at people in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s to fill the gap. Figures show that employment rates drop after the age of 55 and many people are forced to stop working after they reach that milestone. Yet we know that multigenerational workforces drive productivity and innovation.
Russam has signed the Age-friendly Employer Pledge. A nationwide programme for employers who:
-Recognise the importance and value of older workers
-Are committed to improving work for people in their 50s and 60s (and beyond)
-Are prepared to take action to help them flourish in a multigenerational workforce
Little actions make a difference. Being aware of our own feelings about age and the way we view age is the first step to attitude change. And having a positive attitude towards age shows that you are likely to live longer! We know that staying inspired and having a purpose are key factors for health and happiness and for me I find these in my work. As the age ambassador for Russam, the Russam pledge is my personal pledge too.
Cathy Kay, Managing Partner, Commercial