Age discrimination has been around for generations of workers across many sectors of employment. But a newer and even more disturbing trend is the much earlier onset of workplace ageism.
In decades past, older employees were more favorably perceived. Those with years of experience in their industry were considered seasoned and knowledgeable, a valuable asset to the company they loyally served.
Things have changed radically
From a financial standpoint, fewer workers are retiring early or even at the traditional age of 65 when full retirement benefits often kick in. Yet, when the website Fairygodboss surveyed a thousand professionals who were 41 or older, they discovered that 37% revealed they experienced workplace ageism before they even turned 45.
Middle management gets hit hard
A whopping 62% began noticing incidents of ageism by the time they hit the mid-career years. Almost half, or 44%, reported micro-aggressive remarks about their age by younger coworkers. But a startling 43% believed that ageism was behind their not getting hired, and 36% saw their age as a factor in being denied promotions.
Sometimes, the ageism was so blatant that 19% of survey participants claimed interviewers asked their age during the hiring process (which is illegal).
What can workers do about ageism?
They can fight back! They don’t have to take early retirements. If they choose to, they can leave with golden parachutes for softer landings. But they must be able to prove that they were actually discriminated against due to their age and not because of unavoidable personnel winnowing during an economic downturn. Learning how the law protects you against age discrimination can help you build your case.