Ageism in the Workplace conference
(L-R) Dr Trudy Corrigan, Anti-Bullying Centre, Dublin City University, Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and Catherine O'Flynn, Partner at William Fry

Dublin City University hosts conference on Ageism in the Workplace, launching its POWER AGEING report

DCU Institute of Education and the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre in partnership with Age & Opportunity is launching the POWER AGEING report, which seeks to address ageism and bullying in the workplace. The report engages with the ongoing global debate on an ageing workforce and highlights the need to promote greater awareness of the rights and legislation available to protect employees from ageist attitudes, structures and practices in the workplace.

Commenting on the report, the President of DCU, Prof Daire Keogh, said:

"As Ireland’s population ages, research such as the POWER AGEING report becomes ever more important. I welcome the authors' solutions-based approach to workplace ageism, while the collaboration with Age & Opportunity has ensured that the research is highly relevant. As such, this is research that clearly aligns with DCU’s University of Impact ambitions."

Launching the POWER AGEING report, a group of leading experts from the DCU Institute of Education and other organisations join the one-day conference in the DCU, Glasnevin Campus. They include Prof James O’Higgins Norman, Director of the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre, Dr. Trudy Corrigan, Research Fellow DCU Anti-Bullying Centre, Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Professor Helen Russell, Economic and Social Research Institute and others. Issues such as Ageism in the Workplace, An Ageing Workforce in Ireland, Age Equality Strategies, Solutions to Addressing Ageism in the Workplace, amongst other matters will be discussed at the conference.

Director of the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre Prof James O’Higgins Norman said;

“Discrimination such as ageism in the workplace is never acceptable. I am delighted that experts from DCU and other organisations were able to gather today to discuss the issues contained in the report and highlight the ways that ageism can be addressed.”

Statistics from the Workplace Relations Commission Annual Report 2020 (WRC) reveal that, in 2019, ageism ranked as the issue with the highest number of complaints brought before the commission. This finding was based on the Employment Equality Acts Referral from 2019 to 2020. Furthermore, the World Health Organisation 2021 Global Report on Ageism stated that globally one in two people are ageist against older people.’ The report also recommends the need to ‘improve the data and research to gain a better understanding of ageism and how to reduce it’.  


Ageism in the Workplace conference II

The POWER AGEING report consists of a review of 108 selected studies in the areas of organisational policy on older workers. It makes a number of recommendations which include;

  • The elimination of ageist attitudes, structures and practices by creating a positive ageing culture in the workplace through the development of educational and training programmes.

  • Promoting greater awareness of the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 and its associated rights, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age.

  • Accommodate the needs of older workers in recruitment policies, providing upskilling and training and supporting older workers in the later stages of their working life.

  • Provide opportunities for older staff to mentor younger employees, thus maximising the value of their experience and tenure.

Commenting on the conference today, Dr. Trudy Corrigan, DCU Institute of Education said;

“In our research, we discovered that strategies, policies and practices need to be implemented to prevent ageism and bullying in the workplace. This conference is a wonderful opportunity to highlight how we can create more positive ageing environments at work and that employees have rights in this area, should they feel the need to take action.”

POWER AGEING is a new research project in partnership with the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre and Age and Opportunity, the non-governmental organisation. The project is funded as part of the Irish Research Council (IRC) 2022 New Foundation Awards.