In decades past, baby boomers commonly repeated the phrase, “don’t trust anyone over 30,” but these days, when the youngest of the boomers is 51, that way of thinking has become detrimental to our society. It is time to change the way that ageism is handled in the workplace today.
We have made leaps and bounds toward recognizing and stopping other forms of discrimination, but age discrimination tends to be swept under the rug, ignored, and forgotten. There is a wealth of experience to be utilized in the older workforce, and we could all benefit from welcoming the older employees into the ranks.
How Can We End Age Discrimination?
- Admit there is a problem. It’s the first step toward fixing any problem, so why should this be any different. Ignoring the fact that older people are discriminated against during hiring and business decisions will only make things harder.
- Understand that not everyone is the same. Everyone has different levels of productivity, experience, and health needs. All these categories can span various ages.
- Diversify for success. It is well-known that diversity drastically improves productivity. By creating a well-rounded team of all ages, you can solve almost any problem and reach any age group.
- Encourage two-way mentorship. Older employees often have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they love to share, and younger generations could really benefit from hearing it. On the flip side, younger people sometimes have a greater understanding of current culture and technology. Encourage a trade.
- Lead by example. If you are older than the general workforce, don’t let it stop you from pursuing your dreams. Strive to be a posterchild for aging and success.