We’ve talked in our blogs about various types of discrimination. All of them were topics that you were probably familiar with. The issues of racial and religious discrimination are commonly discussed, and as a country, we are becoming more aware of how to avoid discriminating behaviors in the workplace. But there is one type of discrimination that is so actively ignored: Ageism. Ageism is when a person holds a belief or acts in a way that a person’s behavior is determined solely by their age.
Ageism plays itself out in ways that many would not even be aware that they are participating.
For example, being surprised or thinking it is adorable when older people engage in activities that are usually considered to be youthful; such as cursing, having sex, or being rebellious. It can even be something as simple as picking up a garment of clothing and commenting that it looks like something a grandma would wear.
This behavior has been so accepted in our society that we also think this way about ourselves. Like when we lose our keys. In our early 20’s we would be frustrated but not believe anything negative about ourselves over it. But if it happens over your 60’s, many people would think to themselves that they are having a senior moment.
One of the most pervasive issues with ageism is in the workplace.
While this can be a hard issue to prove, many people have said that they can tell that their age has been a hindrance in the hiring process. Many have said that they could tell the interviewer was turned off by their age or feel the need to take dates off their resumes to get an interview. In some extreme cases, long-standing employees have been let go because they are older and hold a higher salary. If you or someone you know has experienced ageism, please feel free to call us. We can help determine if you have a case and what are your next steps.