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Ageism Twice as Prevalent in Media Industry than UK Average

Tyrone Stewart

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The UK's media, marketing, PR and advertising industry experiences significantly higher-than-average levels of ageism,  with 42 per cent of people having witnessed age-based discrimination in the workplace compared to 19 per cent nationally.

YouGov’s Age in the Workplace research surveyed a total sample size of 2,125 British adults, including a base of 831 workers within business sizes of two or more, as part of MEC and Campaign’s Age in the Workplace initiative.

“Diversity continues to be a big issue for the advertising and media industries, and rightly so,” said MEC chief executive Jason Dormieux. “However, age and ageism have yet to form a part of this debate. Our ‘Age in the Workplace’ research and initiative, aims to highlight the positive power of embracing diversity in all its forms, including age, to ensure our people, our clients and our industry benefit.”

The research found that 32 per cent of respondents working in media, marketing, PR and advertising reported they had experienced ageism towards them – nearly three times the average for workers across Britain, where 11 per cent had experienced ageism.

20 per cent of respondents felt they had lost out on a job because they were too old. 56 per cent of these people were told they were ‘over-qualified’ when being turned down for a job, while 25 per cent were actually told outright that they were ‘too old’.

The survey also found that only 37 per cent of people see themselves working in the media, marketing, PR and advertising sector past the age of 50, compared to 63 per cent nationally. Of the 37 per cent, 49 per cent of male respondents see themselves in the sector past 50 but this falls to 30 per cent for women.

In terms of media portrayal, the research shows that 31 per cent of Brit adults would like to see older people in more ads – 44 per cent stating they would like to see ‘about the same’ amount. 37 per cent of 45-and-overs would like to see more of the older generation in ads.

The findings are provide a stark contrast to the 72 per cent of British workers who feel they have not lost out on a job because of their age – showing, across the British workforce as a whole, people are hired based on their skills.

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