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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Churchley

Ageism in IT - the silent DE&I

While we celebrate DE&I in our organisations, are we doing enough to support older Australian IT workers in their 50s & 60s?

As I connect with my network, a growing number of older IT professionals are losing their jobs & finding it very difficult to secure their next role, or even be considered.

Ageism in the workplace is not only prejudice; it damages businesses through a lack of diversity. Three experts share their insights on this issue and how we can tackle it.

🌐 Diverse & Inclusive, but What About Age?

We've made significant strides in promoting diversity, equity, & inclusion (DE&I), but are we doing enough to support older Australian IT workers as they approach their golden years? It's essential to remember that age is also a dimension of diversity.

💼 The Double Whammy Effect on Older Workers

Older workers can expect to be hit by a triple whammy as the economic climate toughens.

👉 Firstly, as companies look to trim costs, it is often the typically higher-paid, more experienced staff that are the first to be fired.

👉 Secondly, this cohort is also the last to be hired – with companies instead taking advantage of less expensive & experienced talent.

📊 The Business Impact

Companies that pursue this strategy are not only missing out on the diversity benefits of a multi-generational team but also risk breaking the law (Denmark is the latest country to adopt anti-ageism regulations when it comes to recruitment).

🤯 Mental Health Matters

The consequences of ageism in IT go beyond job insecurity. It takes a toll on the mental health of older workers. Constantly feeling undervalued & overlooked can lead to stress, anxiety & a sense of exclusion. We must prioritise the well-being of all our employees, regardless of their age.

🤝 How Can We Help?

1️⃣ Educate & Raise Awareness: Start by acknowledging the issue & educating your teams about ageism in the workplace. Foster open conversations to promote understanding and empathy.

2️⃣ Mentorship Programs: Implement mentorship programs that pair younger & older IT professionals. This knowledge exchange can be invaluable for both sides.

3️⃣ Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work options that cater to the needs of older employees, allowing them to continue contributing while maintaining work-life balance.

4️⃣ Age-Inclusive Recruitment: When hiring, focus on skills, experience & cultural fit rather than age. Diverse teams, including those of different age groups, drive innovation.

Let's make a commitment to value & support IT professionals of all ages. Together, we can build a more inclusive tech industry where wisdom & innovation go hand in hand. 

Age is just a number; what truly matters is the passion & expertise these individuals bring to the table. 🌟

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