Combatting Ageism in the Workplace

Since diversity and inclusion took center stage in corporate America, you might think the modern era work environment is becoming an equal place for all. However, have we forgotten about the worker over 50? Unfortunately, ageism in the workplace occurs every day across America, and it is often not recognized and sometimes even accepted as harmless. You have probably overhead the comments and quiet jokes about older workers being sluggish, mentally dull, or technologically illiterate.

The Great Disconnect

The Bureau of Labor statistics reports that workers age 55-plus comprise a commanding 40.2% of the workforce, and individuals age 65-74 make up 27.8% of the labor force. Yet even with strong representation in corporate America, surveys still show that three in five older workers have experienced age bias in the workplace. When the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed in 1967, it protected individuals over 40 against discrimination based on age. So, if people are working beyond traditional retirement timelines and are protected by law, how did this bias become so pervasive?

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