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Tag Archives: ageism

Apparently ageism is more prevalent than you may have realized

One week ago I blogged about ageism in the workplace and whether we have an unconscious age bias, without even realizing it (see Is age discrimination alive and well in organizations?).  In response to this post, a client forwarded this video link to me, with a short comment that he has seen many examples of “upward ageism” in his organization.  Published by AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons), this video at four minutes is a little longer than the usual YouTube video, but watch it through to the end, I think you’ll find it interesting; I certainly did.

My favourite two parts come near the end (at the 3:30 mark) when 70-year old Parvati says “As long as I’m growing and learning, then age doesn’t matter”, and when 75-year old George says Continue reading

Is age discrimination alive and well in organizations?

Ageism Gets OldRecently, I came across an article written by Dan Lyons (author of a new book, “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble“), in which he shares his personal experience with age discrimination.  Here’s a link to his article – When It Comes to Age Bias, Tech Companies Don’t Even Bother to Lie.  It’s not very long, but if you don’t want to read it for yourself, here’s a quick summary.

Lyon’s article opens with – Imagine you’re African-American and working at a 500-person technology company where everyone else is white, and one day the CEO declares in a national newspaper interview that his company’s lack of diversity isn’t an accident. In fact he prefers to hire white people because when it comes to technology white people simply make better employees. That statement would be unthinkable. But what if a tech CEO made the same comment about age?   Lyon goes on to explain that about nine months after he joined a software company called HubSpot (where the average employee age was 26; he was 52), Brian Halligan, the CEO and co-founder, explained to the New York Times that this age imbalance was not something he wanted to remedy, but in fact something he had actively cultivated.  HubSpot was “trying to build a culture specifically to attract and retain Gen Y’ers,” because, “in the tech world, gray hair and experience are really overrated”.  Ironically, no one (not the CEO, nor the media, nor company employees) saw anything wrong in this publicly-made statement. Continue reading