Welcome to Diversity Matters for October 2011.

As the population ages and skills shortages emerge, ensuring employers can best harness the skills and talents of the workforce is an area of particular interest for DCA and its members. In this issue of Diversity Matters, we investigate the challenges of an ageing workforce and how employers can prepare for one of the most significant demographic changes in decades.

We begin with an exclusive interview with Hon Susan Ryan AO, Australia’s first ever full-time Age Discrimination Commissioner who has a proud history of pioneering extensive anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation. We discover how she intends to tackle the challenge of age discrimination in her new role.

The Australian Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations talks about a special forum established on mature-age participation in the workplace and the resources now available for employers to help them harness the valuable experience of older workers.

In our leading practice case study, we profile research by the University of Queensland into the overall workplace experience of mature-age workers in the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and how the organisation continues to find ways to retain the wisdom and expertise of its mature-age members.

We highlight DCA’s research and resources on the ageing workforce available for members on our website. Additionally, we explain benchmarks against which employers can compare themselves when evaluating the success of their ageing workforce programs.

Dr Chris Kossen, from the University of Southern Queensland and Dr Jane O’Leary, DCA’s Research Director, discuss why mature-aged workers are a disadvantaged group in the Australian labour market and how employers can address ‘grey walls and ceilings’ associated with this social phenomenon.

In a very personal perspective, we share the real life story of a mature-age job seeker and his frustrations in trying to maintain a career after the age of 50.

And in our final article, Gilbert + Tobin explore two cases of age discrimination and warn employers to avoid treating any employees or potential employees less favourably due to their age.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Diversity Matters. If you have any stories you would like to share about any aspect of diversity in your workplace, please contact Catherine Petterson, our Communications Director on 0419 447 331 or [email protected].