Having just had London Pride and attended the Women in Finance Awards there is a lot going on in the world of Inclusivity and Diversity. A lot of really positive things are happening.
This week I was talking to the HR Director of a leading UK Grocery Retailer and we were sharing stories about how autism is a really interesting area of opportunity but it needs better understanding. Some selection tools used may unfairly bias decisions away from autistic applicants and to help avoid this you need to offer reasonable adjustment. We also touched on how some employers may actively target this talent pool who have the potential to be high performers in certain roles. All good information.
But ageism, I hear nothing about this topic and yet there are some real challenges and opportunities that need further research and action as this article from Management Today points out.
So D&I change is real but we need to look across the board and consider all forms of potential discrimination and make older people inclusive.
There are an estimated one million British people aged between 50 and 64 who are 'involuntarily workless', according to Business in the Community (BITC). Older people also tend to be out of work for longer, with a quarter of men and a third of women who reach state retirement age having been unemployed for five years or more. We all know the benefits of diversity. Well managed, it results in better ideas and less risk of dreaded group think. Consumer-facing firms benefit from having employees resemble the breadth of their customer-base, while all businesses benefit from employees believing they're valued and treated fairly. So why is age diversity so far behind gender or race on the boardroom agenda? Could it be that ageism just isn't sexy ?