Ageism in the workplace is not something many professionals are aware of. Unlike sexism and racism, this type of discrimination is not often talked about in the working environment.
What is ageism in the workplace?
Ageism is a form of discrimination that refers or relates to someone’s age. It is a blunder that older employees are less competitive, have inefficient skills, poorly deliver productivity and any form of understatement towards older people in the workplace.
Below are some ageism examples in the workplace:
Employers based their hiring decisions solely on age
Each job candidate should be assessed based on their specific qualifications — not on general assumptions about their skills or their fitness for the position.
When an employer demonstrates a preference on hiring younger employees over older applicants, this could be evidence of age discrimination in the workplace. Each and every applicant should be assessed based on specific qualifications such as skills, knowledge, etc. therefore age should not be or at least a major factor.
Age-based harassment in the workplace
When an employer, a manager, or co-league throws jokes, bullies, or in any way makes an older employee feel unwelcome this could lead to having a hostile work environment.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits hurtful comments, jokes, or any other type of age-related harassment towards older employees.
Older workers are offered less to none career advancement opportunities
In some cases, employers only offer career advancement opportunities to younger staff such as learning and training programs, promotions, and access to some company perks such as continued education incentives.
Advancement in your career and in your company should be offered to everybody whether how young or old they might be.
Negative effects of ageism in the workplace
Employers must know that ageism in the workplace does not only affect older people’s mental health but can also do some serious damage to their business/company as a whole. Below are some ways on how ageism affects the workplace:
- Ageism can lead to a lawsuit – employees can file an EEOC claim if there is a mistreatment towards them that relates on age factors
- Ageism in the workplace is against the law – federal law specifically prohibits age discrimination against an employee
- Ageism in the workplace corrupts your overall branding – your branding as a company and as an employer gets corrupted when job seekers learns that age discrimination happens in your workplace
- A workforce that has less experience – a workforce that is heavily populated by a younger set of employees on different teams may mean lesser experience which is a valuable attribute
How can we fix issues related to ageism in the workplace?
There is no other solution against ageism in the workplace but to be age-friendly and respect other employees regardless of how young or how old they are.
Each and every professional should be admired based on their attitude and work ethics not age. Employers on the other hand, can provide their teams with training and de-briefing on discrimination – this does not only help to stop ageism in the workplace but rather promote employee retention percentage as it solves underlying issues towards discrimination.