Many of you have told us that our recent post, Ageism Continues to Be a Problem in the Workplace, addressed a subject that you would like to learn more about. It’s a problem that affects a fast-growing segment of the population, not just during the hiring process, but in promotions, raises, layoffs, and even in the way older employees are treated in the office.
For some of you, the facts about ageism will help to stimulate a much-needed conversation in your human resources department, while for others, considering the human experience will have a greater impact. First, consider these facts from the AARP:
- 19 percent of older workers surveyed said they experienced age discrimination in hiring and 12 percent said they experienced it in promotions.
- 8 in 10 Americans age 50 and up want to see stronger legislation to prevent age discrimination at work.
- 65 percent of employees age 55 and up are “engaged,” in their work, compared to 58 to 60 percent of younger employees, which results in lower turnover.
Next, take a look at the following three videos, each of which does an excellent job at bringing to light a distinct aspect of the issue of ageism in the workplace.
The Harmful Effects of Ageism | Listen To America Huffpost “Listen to America”
In a youth-obsessed society, everyone is going to age. In fact, the older population is expected to double in the three decades leading up to 2050. At the same time, life expectancy will continue to increase, which means employment opportunities for older Americans will be crucial. Yet we are all bombarded with negative messages about aging that seep into our psyche, affecting the way we view older job candidates and peers in the workplace. In this video, an advocate for this issue highlights the problem and an interview with a well-qualified man who has been struggling to find work helps to personalize the issue.
“I’ve had some really great phone interviews and it’s fast and snappy and terrific and amazing and I walk in the door and there seems to be a mood shift.” – Andrew Altenburg
Let’s End Ageism | Ashton Applewhite | TED Talks
Ageism is a prejudice that pits us against our future selves and against each other. Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. Ageism denies opportunities to those who are seen as too old or too young. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.” So “Why should it be ok to weigh the needs of the young against the old? All prejudice relies on ‘othering.’” Yet we aren’t offended by this form of discrimination… yet.
Getting older shouldn’t mean “shuffling offstage,” Applewhite says. Having a purpose as we age benefits business and society, as well as the individual. This impassioned plea to address ageism in the workforce is something everyone in HR should hear.
How To Spot Age Discrimination In A Job Interview | CNBC Interview Tips
MaryBeth Sigler, Executive Coach for Prana Executive Coaching reveals some of the underhanded ways in which interviewers discriminate against older candidates. This video is especially important, because as she points out, many interviewers are not trained in the legalities of age discrimination.
She suggests that older candidates may not want to give away information that may be detrimental to their candidacy, such as whether they have grandkids or expected time until retirement. Though this video is targeted to the older job candidate, it’s important viewing for HR personnel and hiring managers to help prevent discriminatory practices that could lead to litigation.
Were these videos helpful in stimulating a dialogue within your organization? Let us know what aspects of this issue matter most to you and your team on Facebook!