It’s not rare to hear about all types of discrimination in the workplace. When some like sexism can be detected, how can one, however, recognise ageism? Here are some insights on the problem.

 

No country for old men?

Ageism is a common problem throughout the business of any type. Somehow, young people are viewed more able to learn, especially in digital companies. So, it is considered just to fire an employee over 50 or prefer millennials during the recruitment process. While employers justify it by “fresh ideas” of the young assets or natural ability to grasp social media, mature employees silently disagree. It is interesting, how experienced professionals are neglected and the bunch of youngsters is employed (and paid less to save company’s money). Moreover, the employers who actually “take a risk” and prefer “old” employees confess in the invaluable contributions the latter bring to the company.

The perception paradox is analysed in recent research by CIO who concluded that only 25% of older employees find technology stressful…. against 36% of younger ones. The possible reasons for such attitude may be low expectations of people over 50 due to lack of experience when “digital natives” are surrounded by technology from birth.

Ageism Problem

 

Sometimes even the job advertisement unintentionally (or not) states that the company searches for a particular age category. Such cliché phrases as “young and vibrant” or “fast-moving digital natives” may deter prospective experienced workers. It is not only discriminatory to the people but harmful to the company’s reputation (see, not only the professional side suffers). Priority towards young may scare away clients who prefer balanced and thought-trough approach disregarding extreme creativity and aggressive innovation. The horrifying statistics shows that 54% of millennials see older generation as an obstacle. This discrimination only highlights the fact that neither the management nor co-workers welcome slightly more mature employees.

 

Ageism Problem

So, let’s have a look if there is any proven approach to tackling this problem or people over 50 are doomed to be forgotten in the tech industry.

 

How should the problem be addressed?

One can suggest the older people to find other ways around mainstream recruiting like networking and contacting relevant company’s employees directly. But is it a solution for the problem? Doesn’t all these “how to avoid” change the perception of age? The answer is not really. Like with any other –isms discriminated should speak up to be heard. Otherwise, the problem is non-existent. We are judging and fixing the cases of media scarcity in neglected by the white male tech communities, but let’s face the fact that we stuck in discrimination at all places.

Older Workers and Age Discrimination

Returning to the main topic of the discussion, one needs to find an adequate way to deal with age bullies. The only relevant response up to now is to insist on one’s knowledge. It does not only concerns the applicant but the employer as well. Both should remember that more experienced had more time to polish their skills. It doesn’t matter how long they are going to stay in the company in comparison with younger employees, but what they can give your business during that time. For instance, older workers are believed to have occupation-specific knowledge and customer relations skills (they scored 85% and 78% respectively). In other words, they can make your company prosper and bring new clients no matter what prejudices one can have. One can be sure that after multiple profitable cases of 50+ employment the situation will change. So, shall we start?

To sum up, neglecting older generations at the recruitment process will do one’s company no good. Not only the performance may be lower, but the firm’s image can attract same-type clients. That will bring the company to lack of intellectual diversity and ideological stagnation. Thus, one should let experienced employees do their job since they learned it long before millennials.

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