Older Adults’ "Experiences of Ageism in the Ontario Workplace and Labour Market"

Presented by the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging

This series creates the opportunity for the exchange of ideas and stimulates discussion amongst associate researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, community members and older people. We will be hosting seminars with diverse research groups and networks to explore this year’s chosen theme “Community Gerontology”. This theme will allow us to further explore several of Gilbrea’s thematic program areas which respond to contemporary and future issues facing older people.

New to Zoom meetings? Check out our Zoom Guide for some helpful tips. For more information visit http://gilbrea.mcmaster.ca/events or contact gilbrea@mcmaster.ca

March 9th, 2023
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST

Zoom Meeting Registration: https://bit.ly/3lnwE1O

OR In-person viewing session:
L.R. Wilson Hall Room 1003 (Community Room)


Amanda Bull

Karl Kinanen Graduate Research Scholarship Recipient (2022); MA Student in the Department of Health, Aging and Society, McMaster University

Amanda Bull is a second-year MA student in McMaster’s Department of Health, Aging & Society. Her SSHRC-funded graduate work aims to build off of the work she completed as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. By seeking to gain a more nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of older adults who face ageism in the workplace, the results seek to inform equity, diversity, and inclusion policies that often neglect age-related concerns.

"I never thought this would happen to me": Older adults experiences of ageism in the Ontario workplace and labour market

The traditional career arc is often organized around the assumption that the most productive “work years” are before the age of 65. As such, workplaces have the potential to engage in harmful age discrimination. As scholarly literature based in the Canadian context has been quite limited, this study aimed to gain a qualitative understanding of older Ontario workers’ lived experiences of ageism. Semi-structured interviews with older adults (55+) who were either currently employed, recently retired, or looking to gain re-entry into the labour market were conducted. Using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-stage framework for thematic analysis, five key themes that each mediate the varying experience of ageism in the workplace and labour market were identified. This seminar will highlight and discuss the nuances, contradictions, emotions, and realities that constitute the experience of ageism in the Canadian workplace. In-depth analysis of the results allows us to understand the importance of age in the workplace and labour market, as well as the role that age segregation throughout the life course plays in the perpetuation of ageist attitudes and behaviours throughout one’s working life.