The extension of working life is a hot topic in many European Countries and will have numerous implications on individuals and society at large.
On Wednesday 6 March 2019, COST Action IS1409: Gender and Health Implications of Policies to Extend Working Lives in Western Countries, held a Policy Event at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The event aimed to highlight policy messages representing 4 years of collaborative research by a network of 140 individuals from 34 countries.
The event was opened by Director of the COST Association, Ronald de Bruin before welcome addresses were given by Lambert van Nistelrooij MEP, Chair of Intergroup on Active Ageing and Mairead McGuinness, Vice President of the European Parliament.
McGuinness highlighted the importance of the Action and expressed the need for more experts to understand the challenges faced in view of gender and health implications in extended working lives in Western countries.
6 policy briefs were presented during the event - Age Management, Health, Employment and Care, Inclusion and Gender, Pensions and Pension Planning.
The work of the Action
COST Action IS1409, which commenced activity in 2015, has been working to advance scientific knowledge about the gendered impacts of extended working life on the health and economic well-being of older workers in Europe. The Action has also been working to support informed gender-sensitive future policy, explicitly considering the differential needs of women and men.
"On inclusion and gender, in the context of pension spending in Europe which is one of the biggest spending areas of government, the income gap between men and women still exists and it is most critical. To reduce the gap, we do not have enough policies implemented. This is because we have paid little attention to changes in the labor market to understand gender inequality and its outcomes for women." Dr Nata Duvvury, Working Group Leader for COST Action IS1409 and Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Global Woman's studies and Leader of Gender and Public Policy Cluster in the Whitaker Institute at National University of Ireland.
"There is still room to reduce age stereotypes and improve diversity in the work environment. Innovative approaches and trainings to managers can be organized to train their staff to be aware of the different need workers have according to gender and age. It has been proven to be very effective to allow aging workers to maintain a work life balance."Jonas Radl, COST Action Management Committee for IS1409 and Associate professor of Sociology and at the Department of Social Sciences of Universidad Carlos III of Madrid
"I must insist on the achievement early career investigators have gained by being involved in this network. This is the next generation of researchers with new approaches and creativity setting a solid base for future collaborations."Dr. áine Ní Léime, COST Action IS1409 Chair and Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland, Galway
The event was organized by the Subgroup on Active Aging in the Intergroup on Active Aging, Intergenerational Solidarity and Family Issues, with support from the COST Association.