In Canada, there are now more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. The 2015 census found that one Canadian in five over the age of 65 still works—nearly 1.1 million seniors. People are staying in the workforce longer for many reasons: longer life expectancy, financial security, or simply a desire to continue working. Older workers want to be engaged and productive, but ageism is still a barrier for them.
Employment and Social Development Canada defines ageism as “prejudice and discrimination based on age that often results from myths and stereotypes that do not reflect the reality of aging and older individuals. It prevents people from recognizing the valuable contributions of older individuals and limits the choices and opportunities for older individuals to actively participate in society.” Like other types of discrimination, ageism takes several forms. It can be subtle and implicit or overt and direct. In any form, discrimination damages its victims and its perpetrators.