Dedicated strategies for engagement and retention to be key
Seventy per cent of Australia-based finance professionals say age discrimination exists in the financial services industry and almost one in four claims to have experienced it personally, according to the latest eFinancialCareers survey.
The diversity survey revealed that 31 per cent of those who had experienced age discrimination said it was because they were "too young", while 35 per cent said it was because they were "too old".
"The 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," eFinancialCareers' managing director for the Asia Pacific, George McFerran, said.
"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."
The survey also highlighted that 80 per cent of respondents agreed that workers aged 30 years old and under were adequately valued by their company.
When asked the same question about workers aged over 50 years old, however, only 65 per cent agreed that the age-group was adequately valued by their company.
Thirty-two per cent of respondents said a change of culture was necessary for things to change in order to ensure that all ages were respected and valued in the company.
"Making the effort to support and retain experienced workers during this time of slowdown is an essential strategy for [the] long-term success of firms," Mr McFerran said.
"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 shore up their future for the long term."
Mr McFerran recommends financial services businesses revisit their recruitment and retention strategies to ensure they are fair and equitable for older professionals.