ABC boss Ita Buttrose, 80, discusses experiencing ageism in her career


ABC boss Ita Buttrose, 80, discusses experiencing ageism in her career – and reveals whether she will ever marry again as she poses for stunning photo shoot

Ita Buttrose is one of the most formidable women in Australian media. 

But the 80-year-old ABC boss admits that she has experienced ageism but believes older people are very valuable to the workforce.   

‘Are we an ageist society? Yes, I think we are still. I mean, you listen to people talking about a shortage of workers; well, what is the problem with employing older people? It’s people’s prejudice against older people’ she tells this week’s Stellar Magazine. 

Ita Buttrose is one of the most formidable women in Australian media. But the 80-year-old ABC boss admits that she has experienced ageism but believes older people are very valuable to the workforce. Pictured in this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine 

‘You hear it all the time: ‘Oh, they can’t be retrained.’ ‘They’re too old.’ That is all wrong. There’s plenty of evidence from overseas that shows older people can be retrained, they do adapt to technology, they’re very keen to learn new skills. 

‘And if you train them correctly, they’ll turn out to be fantastic workers. They take fewer days off than younger people and they don’t spend all day sending text messages on their telephone’.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ita admitted that she is unlikely to marry again at this stage of her life. 

'Are we an ageist society? Yes, I think we are still. I mean, you listen to people talking about a shortage of workers; well, what is the problem with employing older people? It's people's prejudice against older people' she tells this week's Stellar Magazine

‘Are we an ageist society? Yes, I think we are still. I mean, you listen to people talking about a shortage of workers; well, what is the problem with employing older people? It’s people’s prejudice against older people’ she tells this week’s Stellar Magazine

Ita posed for a stunning photo shoot in the magazine, donning a striking black ensemble

Ita posed for a stunning photo shoot in the magazine, donning a striking black ensemble 

‘I really don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m a romantic – and even I don’t like my chances’ she said. 

‘But look, I’m quite happy living my own life. You just take where life leads you. And if it surprises you, it surprises you’ 

Ita was previously married to Peter Sawyer from 1979 to 1980, and before that to Alasdair Macdonald between 1963 to 1976. 

Elsewhere in the interview, Ita admitted that she is unlikely to marry again at this stage

Elsewhere in the interview, Ita admitted that she is unlikely to marry again at this stage

She and Alasdair had two children, daughter Kate and son Ben. 

‘I have dated men since my second marriage but have not been in a long-term relationship’ she told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2019. 

‘It would be very surprising if I married again. I hear that a lot of men think they’d be punching above their league if they invited me out’ she went on. 

‘I’d say, don’t put yourself down or out of the equation – I am a woman with the same desires and feelings as every other woman.’

Read more in this week's issue of Stellar Magazine

Read more in this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine

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