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Ep 45: The damage of ignoring older workers and how to turn ageism around with Michael O'Reilly

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Helen McGuire
by Helen McGuire

​Ageism is the one “ism” we will all face - if we’re lucky. This is a quote from our first-ever episode on The D&Igest, and it applies perfectly to this episode.

Michael O’Reilly, Founder of Age Diversity Network, joins us today to share his journey and his insights into ageism. Age Diversity Network was set up to help older people re-enter the workforce or remain within it. Michael set up the organisation for two reasons - out of frustrations that he’s faced as an older worker in getting a foot in the door, and also to support the thousands of others in his position.

Michael details the challenges that over 50s face when trying to get back into work. He shares with us his experiences of interviewing with companies that while they took an interest in his CV, they were less welcoming once they found out his age. The typical advice didn’t work for him.

We also look at things from an employer's perspective and discuss the common age-related pitfalls that organisations fall into when hiring. Employers can have trouble understanding what the applicant wants, or feel that they may not be the right culture fit. But the reality is that an age-diverse workforce can have many benefits. Michael also shares actionable advice for older workers to discover what they’re looking for and to grab the right opportunities.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The challenges that older workers face with re-entering the workforce or remaining within it.

  • What Age Diversity Network is all about and the two reasons it was set up.

  • The benefits that an age-diverse workforce can have for an organisation.

  • The discovery questions to ask yourself when looking for work as an older worker.

  • The benefits of staying in work.

  • What employers should be doing to avoid age discrimination in the hiring process.

  • What different generations can learn from each other.

  • How to ask for help and why it’s so important.

  • How have people been responding to Age Diversity Network?

Listen on Apple Podcasts here

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