The Experience Advocacy Taskforce (EAT) is calling for the media and advertising industry to take immediate action and work towards making ageism a non-issue for the next generation of industry professionals.
Using Global Ageism Awareness Day (October 7) as a platform to raise awareness of the existence and impact of ageism in Australia’s media and advertising industry, EAT says it is a sad, and frightening, statistic that only five percent of the media industry’s workforce is age 50 or over, significantly lower than the Australian workforce average.
Greg Graham, EAT’s founder said the Taskforce was founded to work alongside industry bodies and leaders to increase understanding and awareness of ageism and its effect on the industry, with an ultimate goal to change how people think, feel, and act about ageism.
Graham said: “Ageism is widespread, but often concealed, and the only way forward is to start to change the narrative and bring the discussion out of the shadows by spreading awareness.
“When we consider that only 5% of media industry employees are over age 50, we know we cannot keep discriminating against such a huge and experienced pool of our workplace population.
“To improve our industry and take advantage of the vast amount of experience that these workers bring, we need to update our attitudes, structures, and practices and work towards ending ageism discrimination.
“Even more concerning is when we consider the long-term impact of ageism on future generations.”
In terms of retaining and employing people over 40 years, ageism is one of the greatest forms of discrimination in Australia and is is even more extreme in the media and advertising industry. It has the highest unconscious biases. But like all forms of discrimination, it effects people’s health and wellbeing and as an industry it limits diversity of thinking which is proven to be more productive
By working with industry bodies and leaders, EAT is committed to breaking down barriers that perpetuate age-based discrimination and foster an age-inclusive industry that values the wisdom and experience of individuals.
As a benchmark EAT is asking industry leaders and bodies to actively engage by developing workplace initiatives and policies to address the issue so collectively, we can work to effectively combat ageism and promote an environment that values experience.
Simple immediate actions include challenging age-related biases and assumptions, fostering a workplace environment where expertise is celebrated irrespective of age, take thing pledge and show support by signing EAT’s Change Org petition, make a difference and stamp out unconscious bias by doing the SBS Age Diversity Model and Every Age Counts Quiz.