Women, at 42%, face or observe ageism more than men (37%), hinting at the intersection of age bias with other diversity aspects, according to Randstad's report. Among employees, 31% witness ageism at work, with a striking difference between age groups: 42% of those below 55 experience it, contrasting with 29% among those above 55. The study, encompassing nearly 1,000 participants, unveils intriguing insights.

The sectors with the highest rates of reported ageism were pharma, healthcare & life sciences (43%), business process outsourcing/IT-enabled services (43%), and construction, infrastructure, and real estate (41%).

Employees in Indian-based multinational corporations (MNCs) report higher instances of ageism (41%) compared to those in MNCs headquartered elsewhere in the world (28%). This trend extends to perceptions about working with varied age groups, with 56% from Indian MNCs finding it challenging, while only 30% of their international counterparts feel the same.

Concerns about layoffs due to age (45% in Indian MNCs vs. 27% in other organisations) and fair compensation (27% overall, especially pronounced among the under-35 group) emerge prominently. Additionally, younger employees of under 35 yrs age group feel less included (73%) compared to older colleagues (87%), impacting their ability to be themselves at work.

Perceptions about competency in technology vary by age, with 24% of those above 55 feeling disadvantaged, while 16% of younger employees believe they are seen as less reliable. Furthermore, 29% of the under-35 cohort feel overlooked for leadership roles due to their age.

“Ageism is one of the most overlooked unconscious biases made at the workplace across levels. Overcoming ageism requires a conscious effort to recognise and challenge stereotypes to create an environment where experience and fresh perspectives are equally valued. By fostering an inclusive culture that embraces employees of all ages, organisations can harness the full potential of their workforce, driving collaboration, innovation, and growth. It is essential that we recognise the unique contributions that individuals of all age groups bring to the table and work actively to integrate their experiences into the fabric of our companies,” says Viswanath PS, managing director & CEO, Randstad India.

Meena Ganesh, chairperson and co-founder of Portea Medical said, “It is important to recognise that having teams that bring different kinds of capabilities and energies into the system is very crucial. Businesses often cater to customers from different age brackets. Hence, unless they have teams that mirror these customer segments, they will miss out on crucial consumer insights. So, building a truly intergenerational workforce by combining forces from all age groups is absolutely critical.”

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