The City of Toronto in collaboration with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) has revealed the latest Toronto For All campaign against ageism in the workplace.
The campaign challenges Torontonians to check the biases they may have against older workers staying in or entering the workplace, and to recognize the invaluable experience they bring. The creative for the campaign promotes a fictitious aging cream, a play on the beauty industry that promotes the benefits of being older and experienced in the workplace. After promoting this fictitious product prior to launch, the campaign revealed that while the product does not exist, ageism does.
With people living longer, it is increasingly common for seniors to continue working or volunteering well past the traditional retirement age of 65. Regardless of whether the decision to stay in the workforce is a necessity or a life choice, societal attitudes in the form of ageism can end up conflicting with personal preferences.
At the time of the 2016 Census, more than 62,000 Torontonians age 65 and over were either working or looking for work =1B$B!>=1B(B a labour force participation rate of 15.6 per cent. The unemployment rate for Toronto=1B$B!G=1B(Bs seniors was 5.0 per cent, which was lower than the unemployment rate for Torontonians as a whole at 8.2 per cent.
The campaign was created in consultation with NICE’s Community Advisory Committee. As with previous campaigns, the goal is to prompt discussion and action to make Toronto more inclusive for older workers.
This anti-ageism campaign delivers on one of the recommendations (#21) outlined in the Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0. In May 2018, Toronto City Council adopted the strategy, which is an updated version that upholds the principles of equity, respect, inclusion and quality of life for seniors, and commits to seniors having equitable access to City services and programs. More detailed information about the strategy can be found on the Toronto Seniors Strategy web page at https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/long-term-vision-plans-and-strategies/toronto-seniors-strategy/.
Information and resources to educate Torontonians about ageism in the workplace are available on the campaign website at http://www.TorontoForAll.ca/ageism.
This is the eighth phase of the City’s Toronto for All campaign, which has an overall goal of creating a Toronto that says no to all forms of discrimination. Summary of the Toronto For All campaign:
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 1: Islamophobia (summer 2016)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 2: Anti-Black Racism (fall 2016)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 3: Discrimination Against Homeless Men (spring 2017)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 4: Transphobia (summer 2017)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 5: Toronto’s Indigenous Beginnings (summer 2018)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 6: Intimate Partner Violence (fall 2018)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 7: Disability Awareness (spring 2019)
=1B$B!|=1B(B Phase 8: Anti-Ageism in the Workplace (fall 2019)
All phases have been designed to raise awareness among Toronto residents to support the campaign’s goal to build an inclusive city.
“All Torontonians benefit from the energy and lived experience that seniors bring to Toronto’s diverse communities and neighbourhoods. Seniors are a valuable asset and a key part of what makes this city great. As the City, it’s important that we not only set the example by fostering a work culture where senior workers feel respected and valued, but we also encourage people to check any biases they may have toward older workers.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Ageism in the workplace often presents as status inequality and exclusion of older workers, who are often viewed as less capable or unable to keep up with technology. These issues have been identified as hidden problems and ones that are difficult to overcome. Efforts to raise awareness of the implications of ageism at work and within society are desperately needed. An age-diverse workplace where all individuals are valued and have the opportunity to share their expertise and experience puts employers at an advantage.”
– Dr. Raza M. Mirza, Network Manager, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)
The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) is an international network of researchers, practitioners and students dedicated to improving the care of older adults, both in Canada and abroad. Created in 2005, NICE emphasizes the goal of getting good research into practice through education, networking and knowledge transfer. Our members represent a broad spectrum of disciplines and professions, including geriatric medicine, gerontological nursing, gerontological social work, gerontology, rehabilitation science, sociology, psychology, policy and law.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cityoftoronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.