On-Site Magazine

Women of Influence+ put spotlight on ageism

By Adam Freill   

Labour Leadership Women in Construction

Survey reveals that almost 80 per cent of women have encountered age-related discrimination in the workplace.

Women of Influence+, a global organization committed to advancing gender equity in the workplace, released its groundbreaking findings from its survey, “Exploring the Impact of Ageism on Women in the Workplace.” (CNW Group/Women of Influence+)

Ageism is overwhelmingly present in workplaces across the globe, and it is impacting a staggering number of women in the workplace, reports Women of Influence+. The global organization committed to advancing gender equity in the workplace recently released the findings from its survey, Exploring the Impact of Ageism on Women in the Workplace.

According to the survey, nearly 80 per cent (77.8 per cent) of women surveyed have encountered age-related discrimination in their careers, underscoring ageism as a critical yet often overlooked barrier to professional growth.

Ageism is a form of discrimination and prejudice that is directed towards individuals or groups based on their age. This social construct often leads to stereotyping and generalizing people based on their chronological age, regardless of their individual capabilities, experiences, or personal attributes. It can negatively impact individuals at all stages of their careers, leading to unfair treatment, limited opportunities, and marginalization.

“Nearly 80 per cent of women encountering ageism in the workplace is not just a statistic; it’s a clear indication that we are facing a pervasive and systemic issue,” said Rumeet Billan, the organization’s CEO. “Our survey sheds light on the hidden barriers many self-identifying women face, that not only hinder their career progression but also impact their confidence and well-being.”


Conducted between January and February 2024, the survey received responses from more than 1,250 women across 46 countries, spanning various industries. The survey explores the nuances of ageism and its impact on women in the workplace.

While we often think of ageism as something that impacts people in the latter years of their careers, the reality is ageism can have negative implications at all ages and stages. The data revealed notable peaks in the initial decade of work and later years.

More than 40 per cent of respondents experienced age-based discrimination within the first decade of their professional journey, and more than half encountered ageism after spending at least 21 years in their professional life.

Survey participants expressed the belief that age is often inappropriately correlated with perceived performance and success, a bias that disproportionately affects women. Highlighting this gender disparity, one respondent observed, “Women are never the right age. We are either ‘going to get pregnant’ or ‘too old.’” This reflects a societal tendency to place undue expectations on women.

Furthermore, the survey reveals that the perpetrators of ageism span all levels of seniority, implicating the HR department, co-workers, clients, managers, and executives. Respondents highlighted recruiters as another group frequently engaging in age-based discrimination.

“The findings of our survey are a call to action — it’s time for systemic change,” said Billan. “We must collectively work towards creating environments where age does not define capability or limit opportunity. Our commitment at Women of Influence+ is to continue advocating for and supporting these necessary changes.”




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