A study by Randstand on ageism, reported that 31 per cent of employees in India, experience ageism at work.The study stated that pharma, healthcare and life sciences, as well as business process outsourcing/IT-enabled services, were the two sectors, where the highest proportions of respondents (43 per cent), experienced ageism.

These sectors were followed by construction, infrastructure and real estate, where 41 per cent of respondents said they experienced ageism as per the study. 

The study, revealed that 42 per cent of employees aged below 55 years, experienced or witnessed ageism at the workplace, compared to 29 per cent of employees aged above 55 years. Fewer respondents aged under 35 years (51 per cent), agreed their contribution was valued because of their age, compared to respondents aged above 35 years (63 per cent). About 27 per cent of all respondents, felt, they were not fairly compensated due to their age.

The data indicated, that younger individuals, encountered more age discrimination compared to their older counterparts. There was a distrust in the capabilities, and skills of the youngest age group, whereas, the oldest age group, benefited from respect, based on age and seniority. Approximately 42 per cent of women reported experiencing or witnessing ageism, in contrast to 37 per cent of men, indicating the intersection of ageism with other aspects of diversity in the workplace.

Employees working for Indian multinational corporations reported higher rates of ageism, with 41 per cent, acknowledging age-related biases. Conversely, among respondents from multinational companies headquartered outside of India, 29 per cent, agreed that age-related bias existed in their workplace.

“Promotions and compensation should be determined by performance, expertise, and potential, not by arbitrary age brackets. By breaking free from age-based biases, we can create a fairer, more equitable environment. Leaders must set the tone by exemplifying inclusive behavior, promoting intergenerational collaboration, and ensuring that age-related biases are systematically dismantled. When organisations commit to such principles, they pave the way for sustainable success, and resilience in a rapidly evolving business landscape,” said Viswanath PS, MD & CEO, Randstad India.

Ageism affects workplace inclusion, as 80 per cent of all respondents, felt they could be their authentic selves at work. However, younger employees (under 35), reported a lower sense of inclusion at 73 per cent, compared to 87 per cent, among their older colleagues.

(Inputs from BL intern Meghna Barik)