Age and gender in the workplace: a challenging combination
By Ruth Ormston
Age and gender continue to remain in the media spotlight, with a number of high-profile cases involving female presenters claiming they have been replaced or side-lined because of their age and gender. But behind the headlines and the hype, is ‘age and gender’ a live issue, and if it is, what can employers do to address it?
The idea that perceptions relating to age are influenced by gender differences is not new. A study in 1995 by Itzin and Phillipson suggested that women may experience greater age discrimination over all ages than men. A further study in 2004 by Duncan and Loretto indicated that women were considered ‘older’ at an earlier age than their male colleagues.
In 2006, ‘age’ was added to the list of ‘protected characteristics’ covered by anti-discrimination laws, but the legislation does not specifically cater for the gender dimensions of age discrimination…
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