More than four-fifths, or 83 per cent, of the public are of the opinion that age discrimination is an obstacle for the career advancement opportunities of ageing employees in Finland, finds a survey commissioned by Philip Morris Finland and conducted by TNS Gallup.

Nearly half of respondents to the survey said they consider age discrimination a moderate or serious problem at workplaces in Finland, while roughly one-third said they consider it an obstacle for the employment prospects of young people.

“Middle-aged people were most likely to be of the opinion that age discrimination is a serious problem at workplaces,” says Sakari Nurmela, a business unit director at TNS Gallup.

One-fifth of all respondents also indicated that age discrimination is, at least to some extent, prevalent at their own workplace.

“Age discrimination is a problem in Finland and we hope that there will be more discussion about the issue,” Päivi Mononen-Mikkilä, the head of public relations at Philip Morris Finland, said during a debate on age discrimination at Suomi Areena on Wednesday.

Almost 15 per cent of respondents – equivalent to some 343,000 of the 2,450,000 people currently in employment according to Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey – indicated that they have experienced age discrimination at the workplace.

The experiences were common especially among 55–64-year-old and under 25-year-old employees, with respective shares of 21 and 17 per cent, and respondents employed in the capital region. Women are also slightly more likely to experience age discrimination than men, according to the survey.

TNS Gallup interviewed 1,057 people in employment for the survey between 10 and 20 June. The survey has a margin of error of approximately +/-3 per cent.