Lucy Kellaway recently addressed an audience of bankers, none of whom appeared to be over 50! Currently in Ireland, the majority of discrimination claims are age related, mainly due to forced retirement. Employers are now obliged to objectively justify setting a retirement age. An increase in the Irish State Pension age means that the workforce will continue to age, but are employers prepared for this?
On this particular afternoon the ratio was a bit better than usual – about one to four – but as I looked around it occurred to me that I was counting the wrong thing. The tiniest minority was not women. It was not even people from ethnic minorities, this being a global conference. It was the over-50s. In about 200 bankers I could see only one person who seemed to be my age – and that was the chief executive. As I walked back through the City, I stared at people going home: a sea of commuters in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Only occasionally did I spot a contemporary, sidling past with head down.