Employment Ageism: New polls on LinkedIn reveal a key reason why it persists AND is largely ignored.
Why is it virtually ignored? Because even many mature victims don’t believe it’s a major problem. Until they lose their job or want a better one. Or are overlooked for training programs for no reason apart from the year of their birth.
Our 2 polls had one obvious response: That most people,67%, believed Employment Ageism is a major problem. Not surprising given that the mature are most likely to respond to a Poll on this topic.
What was surprising is that the disbelievers/partial believers of Employment Ageism are mainly the mature – 82% are over 45. So if they don’t believe it, what chance do we have of changing the attitudes of the frontline recruiters who are nearly all under 40?
Making it worse, many ‘mature age non-believers’ have something in common – they are typically dynamic, positive and successful. Some that I know are Phil Lee, Tanya Gray, Derek Lark and Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. People who make their own ‘luck’, who are not age prejudiced themselves, and who at least partly believe that avoiding ageism is down to personal responsibility.
These people have influence, so their disbelief spreads, adding to the problem. With no personal experience of Ageism, and not knowing it’s real causes, they believe sufferers are personally responsible, and need to…
- Change their attitude – become more positive and outgoing
- Accept they’re not good enough anymore, and lower their sights
- Update their skills. Australia’s Treasurer believes training is the solution and along with the States is spending billions on it – it will fail again as it has many times before. The problem just grows year by year as the Boomer Bulge is now all over 55. Advisors to the Treasurer Joel Labi and Simon Frost, do you believe it’s money well spent?
Taking these 3 actions will of course fix a few of the over 40s. However, positivity and demonstrating your skills and experience fails if you can’t get an interview, and most of the Mature struggle to get them in skilled and well paid areas. The result is too many are underemployed and in jobs they are overskilled for.
There is nothing ‘personal’ about what employers and young recruiters believe, and it’s understandable why they do. It’s because of The 4 pervasive Myths…
It has even permeated the HR professionals community, including many over 40, which surprised us when we started our research.
We have a solution, but to make an impact we need a deeper understanding – just how serious it is; why it persists; and who are the main villains. Really appreciate your doing a short and confidential survey – Here’s the link….
Thanks (in advance!) for helping to get rid of this scourge that damages so many millions and our economy.