Article may contain sponsored links

Survey Reveals Ageism is a Barrier for Over-50s Looking for Work

Charity Brave Starts shines the light on this demographic. The report offers a rare opportunity to learn about the needs of this age group from their perspective.

The new study, by charity Brave Starts, offers a rare look at the needs of over-50s who are looking for work. As well as shining a light on what drives this demographic, the report also offers helpful ideas employers should consider when looking to reach over-50s.

The study, Unlocking the Value of An Ageing Workforce prepared by Lucy Standing and Harris Karim, focuses on how organisations can better leverage, engage and support the ageing population opportunity.

“We’re very pleased to share the results of our survey of 5,535 people over-50 sharing their needs for this next phase of their working lives and what support they want employers to offer,” explains Standing. “We've packed the report with actionable steps and guidance.”

Lucy Standing is the Co-Founder of Brave Starts and is a psychologist and Vice Chair of the Association for Business Psychology. Brave Starts help people in the latter stages of their career plan, supporting them to enjoy fuller, longer working lives. The charity is made up of a team of passionate people working together to help companies support their employees to work and age better.

The report offers a rare opportunity to learn about the needs of this age group from their perspective. It combines this with the best psychological insights and evidence to provide constructive and helpful ideas for your consideration.

Here are some of the top findings you can read more about in the report:

  • The biggest driver for people (60% of respondents) in their 50s+ is doing work which offers them a sense of 'purpose'.
  • The biggest barrier people face when planning for their working future, is simply 'not knowing what to do next'. This factor alone was almost twice as significant as any other.
  • What people need and want most from organisations are chances to learn more about what opportunities are open to them next and to have time to learn about them. This is best understood via encouraging career conversations.
  • The need for flexible work will continue to rise as we age, with 44% of respondents indicating the need to find work which offers them flexibility.
  • The majority of practical steps an organisation needs to take can be achieved with little or no cost.
  • Organisations need to recognise the value of age and actively support the career planning process of employees as they get older.
  • Ageism is widely felt as the second biggest barrier faced when trying to find work.

“If you aren't the person who likes reading and you'd prefer to join a virtual meeting live where we all get to talk, share and discuss results then we are delighted to also be running a meeting on November 3rd where you'll also hear from some amazing people taking actions within the big corporate world. It can and is being done,” Standing says.

You can both download report (scroll to bottom on the page) and sign up for the event Standing talks about above by visiting Brave Starts here.

Brave Starts are also 55/Redefined’s personal careers charity partner. If you are over-55 and have a question related to your career that you’d like Lucy to answer, please email