It’s unbelievable to me that Ageism has become such a big thing. What kind of crazy concept is this? Today, when you gain a level of experience to qualify you as an expert, whereby others should appreciate what you’ve done and you should be teaching and mentoring the younger folks in your industry, now your get label you as overqualified, unqualified or unfit to work.
Don’t think it’s a big deal? Think Again. Statistics like “three in five workers over 45 have experienced age discrimination at work” from credible sources like AARP abound in the past few years and reports that older people struggle to get work in the new corporate world is everywhere.
Now, more than a third of the workforce (almost 35%) will be 50-plus by 2022, and Americans ages 65 and older are expected to be the fastest-growing segment in the workforce through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And yet, three in five older employees have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. That’s a very high number of people who are being discriminated against for having gained an expertise, wouldn’t you say?
How about this for reality check: One in four have heard negative comments about their age from a boss or coworker, and 12% suspected they were passed up for a promotion or another chance of getting ahead due to their age.
In the same survey, 44% of those looking for work recently said that they were asked for their birth date or other age-related information -- which is illegal…
It’s time to get real about Ageism because we are all living longer and quite frankly, 40 is not old, it’s the new 30 they say right? If you’re reading this, and you’re younger, chances are you’re going to be turning 40 sometime in the future or at least you’re hoping you get into your 40’s right?
Well, if you are part of an Ageist culture, how will feel when your entire work community turns on you? So, what will you do when Ageism comes for you? Food for thought.
But let’s assume you are in a workforce leadership capacity. 2020 has shocked the world with COVID-19 and also international anti-discrimination campaigns. The time for discrimination as a corporate strategy is over. HR and Talent Acquisition leaders, this is your wake-up call. Workforce leaders would be wise to start leveraging their time, money and resources to what will make their organization more successful, not what will draw negative attention to us and make work harder and less appealing within your own organization. Look, no one is saying doing the right thing is easy. But actively working to make things harder…that’s never a good strategy.
Singh is a leading consultant in the field of workforce development and talent acquisition strategy and has been a trusted adviser to hundreds of companies. Singh is the author of the Amazon top 10 bestseller on Ageism book; YOUR FUTURE IN PIECES.
He studies Adult Learning & Leadership and Employee Engagement strategy at Columbia University where he is constructing the next big meta trend model to supercharge workforce culture and productivity. Connect with Vinay.