Ageism: Does it still blow to be gray in corporate America?

Posted by Rosanna Y. de la Cruz on Thu, Jul 02, 2009 @ 08:14 AM

Given the upcoming crisis in Talent Acquisition (in some companies, this is already happening) one would think folks would be talking about Ageism as a phenomenon of the past vs.. the current conversation on how to eradicate the problem. Think I am kidding? Look at these statistics:

  • A national survey by More magazine found that 87% of the population believes that women experience age discrimination at some point in their lives;
  • The study also found that one in five men and women aged 40-60 believe being over 40 has hurt them professionally, with those over 55 almost twice as likely (32%) than those 40-54 (18%) to admit that it has damaged their chances of getting a new job. The survey by Data Development Worldwide (DDW) for More Magazine, is based on a telephone sample of 1,002 men and women ages 18 and older;
  • Men and women agree that discrimination begins four years earlier for women;
  • In Fiscal Year 2008, the EEOC received 24,582 charges of age discrimination. The EEOC resolved 21,415 age discrimination charges in FY 2008;
  • Monetary Benefits received in the Millions (NOT including $ benefits obtained through litigation) totaled $51.5 in 2006, $66.8 in 2007 and $82.8 in 2008.(!!)

Hummmmmm,  ageism seems to be alive, thriving and gaining momentum. Why is this? In an age when being progressive is as cool as Twitter, hip is still synonymous with being young and under 30 or better yet, 27.

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, I can’t help but wonder – does this ring true for you? Have you been discriminated against because of age or not? Does your company embrace experience and maturity? What super hip firm do you know that diggs the gray? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Ageism: Does it still blow to be gray in corporate America?

  1. Aegism is a culturally-bound concept – in some cultures age is a negative and a detriment, in others age is revered,honored, and respected. American culture has traditionally been youth-oriented. Change is difficult and slow to be realized. To initiate the path of change in corporate America, the need for the expertise,knowledge, and skills of the older worker must be coupled with the willingness and desire of the older worker to embrace the new technologies and methods of corporate America. As people live longer, healthier lives their years of productivity increase, as well as the need for an increased workforce and individuals to work longer. All aspects of the aegism question are interrelated.

    posted @ Saturday, July 04, 2009 5:52 PM by Sue

  2. Many tech companies, including the one I currently work for, have discovered the advantages of having older workers in customer facing positions that benefit from experience and perpective. Teams that include all age, all background members, become extremely effective in problem solving and exceeding customer expectations. Teams with broad knowledge and experience are usually great work environments, they bolster learning, and promote an open work atmosphere.

    posted @ Monday, November 16, 2009 7:03 AM by Al

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