48.5 Gender equality politics and age relations in workplaces

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Clary KREKULA , Social studies, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden
In light of rising average ages, is has been argued in the political debate, that the working population has to increase, and that people will have to continue working into older ages.  It has also, however, frequently been shown, that elderly people are excluded from working life, and it has been argued that discrimination against older people in recruitment processes is the strongest discrimination in the workplace.

At the same time, current aging takes place in a political context where the achievement of gender equality is in many cases a key political goal. This is the case, not the least in work places. Questions of how gender equality and age relations relate to one another have been scarcely studied. However, it has been shown that even if gender equality is high on the political agenda, there is no guarantee that also equal age relations are regarded as an important goal. Further is has been shown that one has attempted to increase female representation in decision-making bodies with the help of ageist measures. Hence, there are grounds for empirically analyzing gender equality policy as a context for age relations and exclusions in workplaces.

 In this paper will I provide such a discussion by using qualitative data and through investigating, firstly, how workplaces are organized by gender equality politics and discrimination laws, and secondly, the implication this have for constructions of age relations. I will limit my discussions to issues raised in the Swedish context.