As Encore Network members, we have unmatched insights into the strengths of older workers, as well as the challenges that ageism poses to our constituents. Many who have participated in our programs have experienced or witnessed what 78% of older American’s reported in a recent AARP study: Workplace age discrimination.

That statistic looks bad; it is. However, there is good news. There are things we can do to improve the climate for older workers:

1. Share the value older adults bring to communities and the economy. We can share stories of those in Encore programs. We can write op-ed pieces and serve as sources for media on older worker stories.

2. Shout out employers who are adopting age-friendly practices, including taking the AARP pledge, or becoming a Certified Age-friendly Employer.

3. Make the business case for older workers and intergenerational teams in everything we do.

4. Advocate for including ageism in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies.

5. Join forces as Encore Network members to champion stronger age discrimination laws globally and lobby for workforce development funding, including any COVID stimulus funds, be used to reskill and upskill older workers. Imagine the power of Network members across the globe demanding that government pay attention to these issues.

Have other ideas? Share them with us in the comments section of the Encore Network’s We are better, together.

Wishing you a wonderful November,

Janine Vanderburg
Chair, Leadership Council, Encore Network