Here we are in 2015 talking about discrimination in the workforce.  This time we are discussing age and disability discrimination.  The Human Rights Commission believes it is potentially a real issue and as such there is an inquiry currently underway to understand the extent of the problem and to develop a way forward.

Although I believe it is every employer’s right to pick the right person for the right job I have been reflecting lately on stories I am being told within my personal network and my own experiences.

I am lucky to know a lot of skilled people in their field and as a result of the economic downturn more and more of these people are finding themselves being made redundant.  They are mature (over 45), skilled, committed and energetic people that any organisation would be lucky to have working for them.

However, it seems to be a jungle out there in the workforce, if my network is any example to go by.  Some statistics I have been able to gather indicate that approximately:

  • 25% of applications you submit will receive a response
  • 5% of applications may result in an interview
  • 90% of interviews you attend you will be told you are over qualified, under qualified or too old

If you have a disability I cannot even imagine the difficulties you would face on a day to day basis.

In saying that I am also aware there are many organisations that make it their mission to support and not discriminate against age or disability.  I can only hope that the Human Rights Commission celebrate these organisations at the end of the inquiry.

If you have experienced any discrimination due to your age or disability, or you have been supported in the workforce, or you just have a view – I would encourage you to head to the Human Rights Commission website and sign up to be involved in  the “Willing to Work” inquiry.  We all have a voice and the way things are changed is by us using it.

Willing to Work Inquiry – Human Rights Commission

Share your stories here also as I would be interested to know if my experiences are isolated or if this is common place.