Age Discrimination in the Workplace – How it Impacts Women
Does age discrimination exist in the workplace? Are older women at the receiving end of unfair practices at work? Absolutely!
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in the year 2016 alone, close to 30% or 20,857 of workplace discrimination complaints were from older workers. And, interestingly, most of them remain unresolved. In addition, almost 60% of workers talk about how the discrimination begins when they near the age of 50. Not only do older people find it more difficult to get employment, but aging women find it even harder to find new jobs.
Haven’t Women Had to Face Enough Challenges?
Even without age discrimination in the mix, women have enough of challenges to face and overcome in the workplace. You’re probably aware of how you must play down your strengths, skills, and capabilities just to ensure that your male colleagues feel less threatened. You must look great to earn respect, but if you look too beautiful, you could get dismissed as an airhead. As a smart woman, you need to play your cards just right to gain any kind of success in the male-dominated professional sphere. You’ll find that you struggle harder to get your accomplishments recognized and earn the respect you deserve.
Age Discrimination Compounds the Problem
Add age discrimination into the mix, and every older woman on the wrong side of 45 is aware of how her achievements, intelligence, and exceptional skills are often overlooked – especially when salary hikes and promotions are announced – in favor of younger and far less experienced new hires. These fresh entrants get preference and often undeserved managerial positions under the mistaken premise that they are likely to be more productive simply because they are younger and more energetic.
Dr. Gordon Patzer Ph.D., founder of Appearance Research Institute (ARI) has spent more than three decades understanding how looks affect success in the workplace. He says that older women are perceived as being less efficient, less energetic, and less capable of delivering as compared to their same-age male counterparts.
If You’re Nearing 45, What Should be Your Move?
More and more women are well aware how their career is likely to stagnate. And, very likely end the minute they turn 45. If you have the feeling of becoming a target of age discrimination and getting edged out of your position in the company, know that you’re likely to find only lower posts elsewhere. It’s also possible that only lesser-paying and part-time jobs are available to you. A wiser move is to maintain the existing position in a company where you have a better chance of having your skills, experience levels, talents, and contributions recognized.
Keep Pace with the Latest Developments in Technology and Other Skills
The newest hires your workplace may have more advanced skills and qualifications. Given that complacency is the biggest cause of stagnation, make a conscious effort to keep pace with the latest developments in the particular field where you work. If needed, look for continuing education units that you can earn and add to your resume. Considering investing in economical technological equipment like refurbished laptops, computers, tablets, or any other devices and practice your newly acquired skills on them. When combined with your superior experience, you’ll develop an edge over the newbies that can help you overcome the challenge of age discrimination.
Maintain Your Enthusiasm and Energy Levels
The biggest issue that bosses and companies have against aging employees is the preconceived notion. That seniors lack the energy and enthusiasm for assignments. And, consequent lowered productivity levels. If you need to, go the extra mile to conduct research into upcoming projects. Prove that you’re the best person for the job being knowledgeable and more capable than anyone else.
Pay Careful Attention to Your Attire and Demeanor
Always dress professionally paying careful attention to your attire. Choose outfits that match your age. Trying to dress and act like the younger employees will only make you lose credibility among them. At the same time, you might want to keep up with the latest lingo and phrases. That’s so you know and understand what everyone’s talking about. It will save you from committing a faux pas and getting laughed off and patronized. Now that’s the worst kind of age discrimination ever.
Take Care of Your Health
Both men and women sense a gradual waning of hormone levels by the time they cross 35. And by 45, you’ll likely sense your body starting to slow down as menopause approaches. Although it is a natural process, most women sense various other effects. These can include weakening muscles and bones, lower stamina and energy levels, mental confusion and slower brain processes, and memory lapses, among others. All of these health issues can result in your finding it difficult to compete with the high energy levels of the younger crowd.
The best way to tackle these issues is with a healthy diet and exercise as your gynecologist or medical practitioner will recommend. However, you can also consider opting for plant-sourced supplements that can correct these imbalances. Should you talk to the consultants at BHRC, the center for bioidentical hormones therapy in Newport Beach, you’ll learn about this organic treatment that has no side effects but can help you keep pace with the demands of your job.
Women have always had to struggle to prove themselves in the professional sphere. And, age discrimination in the workplace seems like yet another unfair challenge they must overcome. With the smart moves and intelligent thinking, you should be able to deal with this snag also. Take it in your stride and continue to attain new heights in your career.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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