Prejudice against older coworkers persists; Age-ism attitudes remain.
Even among those who openly oppose racism and sexism.
As employees reach retirement age, face bias even from younger employees.
Forced retirement is explicit form of ageism; has become internalized as natural.
There is an Internalized Prejudice in many organizations.
But with ageism, even fair-minded younger workers can get impatient.
Feel it’s their time to shine & elders seem reluctant to relinquish the spotlight.
Older workers have knowledge, experience, & wisdom acquired over time;
Qualifications m may far exceed the young aspiring workers.
The results reveal a uniquely challenging prejudice in the workplace.
Ageism has turned out be a difficult prejudice to neutralize.
Fervent anti-prejudice advocates found ways to legitimize the bias.
Reasons involve the changing nature of the workforce & nature of jobs.
People are living longer, and therefore retiring later.
Older people are actually forced economically to work longer.
Older people are biggest population in history staying in the workforce longer.
50% of Millennials see no value in business history or experience of their elders.
The correct basis of evaluation of any worker’s value is what they contribute.
Issue is who is capable of contributing & how long likely they can keep it up.
Doesn’t matter how old they are.
Business growth & expansion means career advancement, not geriatricide.
Business growth creates more management opportunities for being promoted.
Study finds that people who oppose racism & sexism eager to eliminate ageism at work.
Younger workers tend to be more empathetic when they realize many older workers can’t afford to retire.
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying they discriminate,” – Ashley Martin, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“But even fair-minded people seem to prioritize race and gender over age.”
“Egalitarian” employees is the concept of succession, which complicates workplace dynamics” – Ashley Martin, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“Ageism differs from racism and sexism in that the latter two involve groups that are seen to be historically disadvantaged and who are finally — and rightfully — being allowed into positions of power.” – Ashley Martin, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“Younger people are trying to push older people out of positions of power before they’re ready to go,” she says. “That happens quite often, and we see it embedded in the structure of society in ways that are really interesting and quite problematic.”
Will the day ever come when anti-ageism activists unify in the same way Black Lives Matter and #MeToo activists have done?
“I want to be hopeful and think there will be advocacy around aging issues,” she says. “But because other forms of prejudice are considered to be more detrimental than ageism, I’m not sure they’ll coalesce.”
Age is an Opportunity Blocker:
Older workers seen as obstacles to advancement, or “opportunity blockers.”
Company Succession plans uniquely targets older individuals.
Researchers say such ageism differs from other forms of prejudice.
Which these ‘natural progression’ expectations are not as clear.Z
Can lead to resentment among younger workers, older workers face prejudice.
Egalitarian advocates might actively, counterintuitively discriminate against older adults.
1) Workplace Equality for All! (Unless They’re Old) – https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/workplace-equality-all-unless-theyre-old
3) MIKE Pochan – Industry Consultant, Workplace Expert, and former Carnegie Mellon Instructor,