Demographics and Ageism Contribute to Labour Shortage in Canada

Mediaplanet, Empowering Aging Canadians | December 17, 2022

TopSixty Over Sixty partnered with @mediaplanetCA on the Empowering Aging Canadians campaign to highlight the prevalence of ageism in the workplace and how it is a contributing factor to the labour shortage in Canada today. Read Helen Hirsh Spence’s article, Demographics and Ageism Contribute to Labour Shortage in Canada HERE.  Mediaplanet’s Empowering Aging Canadians insert appeared in The Toronto Star on Saturday, December 17, 2022.

Estimated read:  3:53 min

How younger and older workers benefit each other

A Little More Conversation, Global News Radio 640 Toronto | December 15, 2022

Bruce Claggett, guest host of A Little More Conversation with Ben O’Hara-Byrne chats with Helen Hirsh Spence about ageism and how younger and older workers benefit each other in the workplace.  A Little More Conversation airs weekdays on 640 Toronto (CFIQ AM) and Corus radio stations across Canada.

Radio interview, 17: min

640 Torongo logo

Ageism Towards Our Ageing Workforce

ON Point, Global News Radio 640 Toronto | October 18, 2022

Show host, Rob Fai, chats with Helen Hirsh Spence about Canada’s talent shortage and how older workers can help fill the gap. Companies will have to address ageism and change strategies in order to retain, rehire, or recruit older workers.

LISTEN HERE and then click on Item 3
Radio interview, 8:00 min

640 Torongo logo

It’s time to tackle ageism – no matter how old you are

Ottawa Citizen | October 3, 2022

Unlike other UN population groups such as women and children, there hasn’t yet been a convention related to the rights of older persons, even though the world’s population aged 60+ is increasing exponentially and will triple by 2050. This will exceed a population of more than two billion, according to the World Health Organization. READ MORE
Estimated read, 3:00 min

For Immediate Release

September 28, 2022

TOP SIXTY OVER SIXTY Joins Allies Across the Globe in Celebration of
1 October 2022 United Nations International Day of Older Persons
and 7 October 2022 Ageism Awareness Day

OTTAWA, Canada — TOP SIXTY OVER SIXTY along with the American Society on Aging (ASA) and others will celebrate Ageism Awareness Day on 7 October 2022. Modeled after the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2022, Ageism Awareness Day provides an opportunity to draw attention to the existence and impact of ageism in our society.

The most widespread and socially accepted form of prejudice, ageism is defined by the World Health Organization as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudices (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.” Evidence shows ageism is widespread in society and can be found everywhere, from our workplaces and health systems to stereotypes we see on TV, in advertising and in the media.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full press release.

The Power of Advocacy: Overcoming Ageism

Executive Encore| September 15, 2022

Patricia A. Muir, Professional Certified Coach, chatted with Top Sixty founder, Helen Hirsh Spence in one of Patricia’s series of interviews with thought leaders and those who are enjoying fulfillment after the age of sixty. Helen described internalized ageism as “unconscious bias against ourselves and our future selves”. She spoke about how internalized ageism stops individuals from moving forward, and what fulfills her both in her work and her personal life. LISTEN HERE

Podcast, 16.49 min.

Retirement?  Not for many Ottawa ‘senior-preneurs’

By Karla Briones
Ottawa Citizen| September 06, 2022

“The myth that older adults are not able to do this needs to be debunked.”  Entrepreneurship seems to have a sexy appeal the younger you are. Just look at the variety of awards out there: ‘20 Under 20’ ‘30 Under 30’ and ‘40 Under 40’ awards, recognizing the contributions youth make to our economy. READ MORE
Estimated read, 3:00 min.

Man holding tennis raquet in store

Rediscovering Yourself Midlife

Power Purpose Play| August 16, 2022

Kavita Ahuja, founder of Power Purpose Play, a global community of women in midlife, speaks with Helen Hirsh Spence about the positives of ageing and the negatives of ageism. Kavita quoted from a recent article by Helen,  “Those born between 1946 and the early 1960s were disrupters. Now they continue as age liberators who recognize it is their time to give back or, preferably, to give forward.  These 60-, 70-, and 80-year-olds are doing so by creating a movement where they are role-modelling the growth, power, potential, and the value of ageing.” Helen emphatically noted, “The future is older…” LISTEN HERE
Podcast, 47:51 min.

Woman in red dress with logo, The Midlife Reinvention.

Hirsh Spence: As Canada’s demographics shift, it’s time to                                     embrace ‘Age Liberation’

Ottawa Citizen| May 05, 2022

The world is on the precipice of a new revolution. Becca Levy, author of Breaking the Age Code, refers to it as “Age Liberation.” For decades, age has suffered an increasingly bad rap, but the paradigm is slowly shifting. With more Canadians over age 65 than under age 15, and close to one-quarter of the population turning 65 by 2025, Canada will need to prepare for a much older society.

According to the Statistics Canada April 27 census release, there are already more people aged 55 to 64 than those aged 15 to 24, the typical age of entry into the workforce. Although very few organizations are prepared for it, Canada’s workforce is aging significantly. Retirement and other current norms will soon be passé. READ MORE

Estimated read, 3:19 min. | Image: Andrea-Piacquadio_Pexels

Apprentice being taught by master worker

Canada’s Ageing Workforce

CBC’s The Current | April 29 2022

Statistics Canada census data, released April 27, 2022, shows a record of one in five working adults are getting close to retirement age. That means businesses and workplaces could soon be struggling to fill positions — but some say it doesn’t need to be this way. Matt Galloway speaks with Helen Hirsh Spence, founder and CEO of Top Sixty Over Sixty, and Donna Wilson, a professor and gerontology researcher at the University of Alberta. LISTEN HERE

Segment duration, 21:08 min. | Image:  CBC Media Centre

CBC logo and the words, the current

Getting Older, Feeling Better

Catalyst Magazine| April 2022

In the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s magazine, Catalyst, Peter McKinnon writes, “People 85 and older make up Canada’s fastest-growing population segment, increasing at nearly four times the rate of the total. Also growing quickly is the number of evidence-based tools and strategies to help them live longer, happier, and more fulfilling lives, which is good news, since the size of this group will triple over the next few decades.” READ MORE

Estimated read, 3:36 min. | Photo courtesy of Clarice Frazier

Older man and woman hikers sitting on a scenic rocky point

The(B)Older Women’s Policy Agenda: Careers, Care and Pensions

Forbes | April 14 2022

“The world over, we need a more ambitious—and more holistic—women’s policy agenda. One that integrates all of women’s life phases and roles—and recognizes the swelling ranks and particular challenges of older women. This means accepting the inter-dependencies between three issues, usually addressed separately—careers, care and pensions”, writes Avivah Wittenberg-Cox.  In her section titled, Careers (The Post-50 Opportunity), she quotes Helen Hirsch Spence of Top Sixty Over Sixty, “Older adults want to upskill and continue working, they are a ready solution to many of our talent shortages.”  READ MORE

Estimated read, 6:28 min. |  Image:  Centre for Ageing Better

Older woman working at a computer in home office

There’s no expiry date on productivity:  Agesim keeps many companies from benefiting from older workers

Ottawa Business Journal | April 8 2022

Caroline Phillips  writes about her interviews with Carol Devenny, chief financial officer for Equality Fund, and Helen Hirsh Spence, Founder of Top Sixty Over Sixty. Devenny took on her current role after she had reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 at her previous position with the accounting firm, PwC Canada. Hirsh Spence  would like to see more Canadian employers include older adults in their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and comments, “Most people do not want to retire but they feel obliged to retire, they get forced out because of ageist beliefs and myths, all of which have been debunked by the research.”  Read the full article HERE

Estimated read, 5:09 min.

A white tage on red background with the words, Best Before

“Older adults are part of the largest, healthiest, longest lived and best educated group in North American history”…Helen Hirsh Spence

City News Ottawa | March 23 2022

Host Sam Laprade talks with Helen Hirsh Spence about ageing, ageism, and how the longer lives of today’s and tomorrow’s older adults will allow them to continue to contribute to workplaces and society for many years to come LISTEN HERE

The interview with Helen Hirsh Spence begins about 9:30 min. into the program and lasts for approx. 10 minutes.

Ottawa founder of Top Sixty Over Sixty says,
turn to older adults to solve the labour shortage

CTV News at Noon Ottawa | Fri. Jan. 28, 2022

Leanne Cusack, CTV News at Noon Ottawa discusses the importance of welcoming older adults into the workforce with Helen Hirsh Spence.   Helen wants employers to focus on experience and the benefits of having a multigenerational labour force.  She doesn’t believe youth should be valued more than experience.  She wants to see people of all ages working together, fuelling each other.  Read a summary of the interview and watch the full interview HERE.
(Video – part 1, 4:43 min / part 2, 4:50 min)

Split screen images of Leanne Cusach, CTF, and Helen Hirsh Spence, Top Sixy Over Sixty

Business Mentorship; Keepin’ It Real

Share Your Stories Online | Jan. 29, 2022

Author, Artist, and Founder/Host of ShareYourStoriesOnline, Trish Tonaj, spoke with Top Sixty Founder Helen Hirsh Spence about demographic shift that most people do not yet recognise.  For instance 10, 000 people in the U.S. turn 65 every day and 25% of Canada’s population will be 65 or order by 2026.  One of the fastest growing demographic today is the over 85 group.  We are entering an era of non-retirement.  Instead they are shifting focus.  WATCH HERE

(Video – 17:10 min)

Head shots of Trish Tonaj and Helen Hirsh Spence

Hey Boomer!

“Life is not like a linear package…we need to spot opportunities…
take risks…and move outside our comfort zones”, Helen Hirsh Spence

January 17, 2022

Wendy Green, host of Hey Boomer, speaks with Top Sixty Founder, Helen Hirsh Spence, about our increased longevity, internalized ageism, and the realities of age bias.

WATCH HERE (Video, 45:00 min)

Head shot of Helen Hirsh Spence with the words Hey Boomer

CTV Morning Live Ottawa

“Older people today are not like their grandparents”, says Helen Hirsh Spence

November 24, 2021

Top Sixty founder, Helen Hirsh Spence, talks with CTV’s Morning Life Ottawa host, Rosey Edeh, about one of Canada’s most overlooked resources, older adults.  Helen explains that older people today are not the same as their grandparents’ they are well-educated, and well-equipped to address Canada’s current labour shortage.

WATCH HERE (Video, 3:30 min)

Three women and one man standing beside the words, CTV Morning Live


The Brian Crombie Hour, Sauga 960 AM

Yes! Older adults CAN bring value to the workplace

November 24, 2021

Brian Crombie discusses ageism with Top Sixty Founder, Helen Hirsh Spence, and Valerie Fox, an expert in business accelerators and incubators.  Tune into this insightful and in-depth dialogue; it’s worth listening to every minute!

WATCH HERE (Video, 46.10 min)

Brian Crombie, man wearing glasses and smiling


Toronto Star

Labour shortage? The answer is to bring older adults back into the workforce

By Helen Hirsh Spence, Nov. 7, 2021

Headlines about the “big quit” and the “great resignation” have dominated the news recently.  Unquestionably, the labour shortage is real for both lower-skill jobs and knowledge workers.

Regrettably, employers continue to to overlook one of Canada’s growing and sustainable resources, its aging demographic. Businesses fail to take advantage of the fastest growing segment of the population — people over age 55 who are talented, capable and interested in work, yet who are ignored due to unconscious age bias.

Read  more HERE

Blank employment application on table, with reading glasses

Photo:  dreamstime_m_13742063

An Entrepreneurial Story


Top Sixty founder, Helen Hirsh Spence’s entrepreneurial story was recently shared on  Helen’s words of advice:  It is never too late to start anew again. Life is not a nice, neat, linear package. Always look for the silver lining in every cloud.

Read the interview HERE.

Headshot of woman, Helen Hirsh Spence, Top Sixty Over Sixty

Fighting Ageism

Good Times, Canada’s magazine for successful retirement

Negative stereotypes about older people— whether you believe them or they come from others—can cause real harm.
By Wendy Half

Read the article HERE.

Head shot of fit, smiling older woman wearing grey jacket
Photo by Ravi Patel on Unsplash

Retirement Rebellion

George Jerjian interviews Helen HirshSpence

George Jerjian, mindset mentor, writer, and speaker, explores Helen Hirsh Spence’s views on retirement.

Read the interview HERE.

Head shot of George Jerjian withe the words: Retirement Rebellion as used on his website

George Jerjian, Retirement Rebellion

Paving the Way for the Aging Population in the Workforce

Deborah (Deb) Crowe, host of Imperfect, interviews Helen HirshSpence

Deborah (Deb) Crowe, Executive & Business Coach and host of Imperfect The Heart-centered Leadership Podcast speaks with Top Sixty founder, Helen Hirsh Spence, about Ageism Leadership:  Paving the Way for the Aging Population in the Workforce.

LISTEN HERE to Episode 63 of Deb Crowe’s podcast series.

Podcast_Imperfect, Heart-Centered Leadership

Imperfect, The Heart-Centered Leadership Podcast

CanAge Conversations:  Champions for Change

Laura Tamblyn Watts, CanAge CEO, interviews Helen HirshSpence

LISTEN to this episode where Laura Tamblyn Watts talks with Helen Hirsh Spence about a variety of topics including the benefits of gratitude, and how viewing life optimistically can improve your life.  Part of a CanAge series of fireside chats with influential and inspiring people who work tirelessly in the field of ageing.

Ottawa Citizen
Helen Hirsh Spence – COVID-19 Strains the Kid-Grandparent Connection

Read Helen’s opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen HERE

Platinum Pivot Interview w/Helen Hirsh Spence

Top Sixty Over Sixty Founder and CEO, Helen Hirsh Spence discusses ways to overcome self-directed ageism in this interview.

Ottawa Business Journal

Helen Hirsh Spence – How Ottawa employers can harness the power of talented – and often overlooked – labour pool

Read Helen’s opinion piece in the Ottawa Business Journal HERE

Ottawa Citizen

Helen Hirsh Spence – Older adults could be our ticket to prosperity after the pandemic

Read Helen’s opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen HERE


Ottawa Citizen

Debra Yearwood – Just whose ‘diversity’ are we talking about?

Read Debra’s opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen HERE


Toronto Star

Helen Hirsh Spence: All ‘seniors’ shouldn’t be lumped together

Read Helen’s opinion piece in the Toronto Star HERE

Toronto Star

Helen Hirsh Spence: The (old) elephant in the room: value of older workers ignored 

Read Helen’s opinion piece in the Toronto Star HERE


On Inspiration: An Interview With Virginia Merritt

Inspiration can come everyday in numerous ways, it’s just a matter of looking.

On Inspiration: An Interview With Laurèl Craib Laurin

Inspiration can come everyday in numerous ways, its just a matter of looking. Following a Top Sixty Over Sixty event on inspiration at the Ottawa Gallery, Laurèl Craib Laurin shared her take aways and advice on staying inspired.

Emergenetics Wins Reader’s Choice Award in the HR Reporter

Top Sixty Over Sixty uses Emergenetics in its individual and team assessments and we are pleased to see it recognized in the HR Reporter.

You can read more about it HERE

Ottawa Citizen

Helen Hirsh Spence Let’s change our narrative around what it means to be a ‘senior’

Read Helen’s opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen HERE

Connected Canadians 

Helen talks about learning technical skills with Connected Canadians

If you are an older adult interested in learning new technical skills or refining the ones you have, you will want to learn more about Connected Canadians. Watch Helen’s review below.

Innovating Employment: Episode 10

Empowering older workers to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, with Helen Hirsh Spence

Helen joins the program to discuss empowering older workers (over the age of 55) to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. Listen HERE

LiisBeth Dispatch (Digital)

Turning the Grey Tsunami into the Silver Economy

Helen Hirsh Spence (Top Sixty Over Sixty CEO and Founder) was interviewed by Lana Pesch, Associate Editor of LiisBeth on the challenges of ageism and the potential of older adults. Read more HERE

Ottawa Experts (English)

Top Sixty Over Sixty Founder and CEO, Helen Hirsh Spence and new jewellery artisan/entrepreneur, Vicki Jasperse were featured on Rogers TV show, Ottawa Experts.  Helen and Vicki explored the changing nature of ageing, its implications for the future of work and answered questions from callers. To watch the interview, visit HERE

EntreNous (French)

Watch interview with Helen Hirsh Spence and host Catherine Marion as they discuss ageing today.

CTV News Ottawa (English)

Watch a CTV interview with Helen Spence, Debra Yearwood, Michael Oster and CTV Ottawa host, Leanne Cusack as they discuss the Top 60 Over 60 follow links here: Part 1 & Part 2

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