Ageism is discrimination or prejudice against others based on their age.

Ageism – definition and meaning

Age discrimination or ageism is discrimination or unfair treatment based on a person’s age. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ageism is defined as prejudice or discrimination against a particular age group – particularly the elderly. 

Ageism impacts many aspects of society, including the workplace. For older workers, negative attitudes can lead them to become victims of discriminatory practices, affecting their overall well-being as well as their ability to access employment opportunities.

Ageism and age discrimination in the workplace

Ageism in the workplace is a widespread issue with many older employees feeling discriminated against or mistreated. In fact, ageism at work is a common problem, where over 93 percent of workers 50 and above assert that it is a regular occurrence

This troubling issue can lead to significant consequences for older workers. 

For instance, the age of employees can affect hiring decisions, result in them missing out on a promotion or make them subject to ageist comments that ultimately make them feel compelled to take early retirement.

What is to be done to eliminate ageism at work?

The best way to eliminate ageism at work is to embrace age diversity, as companies should create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all. 

To do so, policies and practices that promote fairness and equity in the workplace, including recruiting and hiring practices that do not discriminate based on the candidate’s age, are vital.

Another idea is to train managers and employees on how to prevent age bias.

How to address discrimination of age in the workplace

To adequately address the issue of ageism, a company must recognize and acknowledge how their policies and work culture may result in discrimination towards older workers. 

Awareness of the language and stereotypes used about older people is a great way to examine one’s biases. 

A great way to address age discrimination is to create opportunities for older workers. For example, a company can provide employees with training, development programs and opportunities to help them stay current with the latest technologies and skills required for the job.

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