Seven in 10 Australian finance professionals – including mortgage brokers - say age discrimination exists in their industry, and 35% claim to have experienced it personally, according to eFinanceCareers’ latest survey results.
It’s not just older workers though. Of those who said they had personally experienced age discrimination, 31% said it was because they were “too young” while 35% reported it was because they were “too old.”
eFinancialCareers managing director Asia Pacific, George McFerran, says the finance industry is regularly accused of suffering from a culture of ageism and these latest results suggest that there is still a long way to go.
“What’s surprising though is that younger workers are also reporting that they have been discriminated against. This may be a result of increasing pressure in a tight hiring market, where there are currently fewer middle management roles available for younger staff to apply for.”
However, an overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) agree that workers aged 30 and under are adequately valued by their company.
When asked the same question about workers aged over 50, the percentage of respondents in agreement dropped to 65%.
Nearly a third of respondents (32%) agree that a change of culture within the industry is necessary in order for things to change.
McFerran says making the effort to support and retain experienced workers during this time of slowdown is an essential strategy for firms’ long-term success.
“Right now, there is a strong argument for financial services companies to put in place deliberate strategies for engaging and retaining older workers to ease skills shortages and sure-up their future for the long term.”
He says older workers bring professional contacts, relationships, credibility and - most importantly - experience.
“Their expertise during challenging times like these can prevent younger professionals from making potentially unwise decisions due to a lack of perspective that can only be remedied by experience.”