Tackling Ageism Together: EveryAGE Counts in Melbourne’s East
Research shows that most of us have negative thoughts and feelings about getting older and we struggle to see anything positive about ageing.
So why do many people think this way? The answer is ageism!
Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person’s age. It is fuelled by negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older. Ageism is a big problem which impacts many older people.
Manningham Council, along with six other councils in Melbourne’s East, is shining a spotlight on this issue as part of the EveryAGE Counts in Melbourne’s East campaign to tackle ageism across the region. The campaign has a number of objectives including to raise awareness about ageism towards older people and its impacts and to challenge common stereotypes about older people. The campaign ties into and supports the national EveryAGE Counts campaign (https://www.everyagecounts.org.au/).
Ageism in the workplace comes from these same false beliefs and incorrect perceptions that older people have less to offer than younger people.
A survey conducted by the Australian HR Institute with the Australian Human Rights Commission found that up to 30% of employers are reluctant to hire workers over a certain age, and that age was 50 for more than two thirds of the survey group.
An inquiry by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that negative beliefs and stereotypes of older workers led to discriminatory workplace behaviours during recruitment and in decisions about training, promotions and retirement.
This type of discrimination in the workplace has a major impact on older people, including financial, physical and mental affects. According to the ABS, not being able to get a job is one of the highest personal stressors for people aged 45 to 84. Importantly, ageism is bad for business too, limiting access to an entire pool of skill and talent simply based on chronological age and denies society the enormous range of benefits that can flow, economically and socially, from the full participation of older people.
What can you do?
There are many ways you can get involved and learn more:
- Watch the ageism videos and take the Am I Ageist?’ quiz on Manningham Council website
- Sign the pledge to stand for a world without ageism where all people of all ages are valued and respected and their contributions are acknowledged
- Be aware and speak up and start a conversation when you hear someone being ageist
For more information about the campaign visit Manningham Council website at https://www.manningham.vic.gov.au/age-friendly-manningham