This conversation is closed.

How do you feel about ageism?

Do you believe it still exists in our world today? In what forms or aspects do you believe prove that ageism still exists? I currently work in a corporate office where older generations are more dominant and as a recent college graduate, I can't help but feel discriminated by them. Thoughts?

  • thumb
    Apr 4 2013: The problem with being young is that it's the 1st time you've been young, as opposed to Being old where you used to be young for most of a lifetime.
    • thumb
      Apr 5 2013: The advantage of being young is that it's only once you remain young, then grow older and wiser. At least you can learn and show young ones the nicks, burns and dents and let them decide their style of engagement.
  • Apr 4 2013: Why does the North American advertizing culture still direct its ads at the younger market even though the baby-boomers are growing in size and have more money to spend? Look at the ads on TV...mostly directed at the young and the ads directed at the older generation have to do with pain relievers, senior homes, declining health issues and funeral planning.
    I think it's sad that we still have this view of "older" people or at least the advertizers are still projecting this outdated view.
    I don't think that young people are disrespectful of those in the advanced years of their lives...but they may tend to not fully appreciate them. This is probably true of every generation, I know there were things I wish I had asked my parents about their lives....but there are probably things I should be asking my children about their hopes, dreams and fears. Maybe it's time for young and old to start talking to one another.
  • Apr 3 2013: It exists in many forms against everyone.
  • Apr 7 2013: It very much exists but in western cultures almost exclusively. I have had a similar thread running in various linkedIn groups for weeks now and they continue to draw comments from those affected.

    I would like to hear what CEOs have to say about the situation. Preferably just why it occurs. The law in both the USA and Europe is useless.
  • mary T

    • 0
    Apr 6 2013: If you are 23 and out of work (and inexperienced), you will probably be considered for jobs that an older (more experienced) person won't. This is the type of wrong that led to the laws against age discrimination. I don't imagine the laws are very effective over all. Anyway, your question seems a little bit like you are trying to get a rise out of people. I think ageism is most apparent when television shows a senior citizen being flummoxed by computers. A few years from now, those types of "senior citizen" gags will seem as funny as Stepn Fetchit jokes - in other words, they are offensive.
  • thumb
    Apr 4 2013: Bad. Age does add some wisdom but more ego and rigidity of mind. I am 51 and head a team of engineers and scientists who are mostly young, raucous, argumentative and wonderfully creative. They always subtract some biological years of my old self.
    Defy domination and create your own niche.
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: The existence of ageism exists both ways, I agree.

    Older people have valuable knowledge and wisdom but tend to dismiss the energy, vitality and new ideas from those younger than them. One could therefore say that your corporate office is more likely to stagnate in the past and be unwilling to move forward if the older generations have too much belief in themselves and are too dominant.

    Likewise, if your office was left entirely to the ideas of the younger generation without reference to older wisdom, mistakes will likely be the result.

    The answer here is communication, respect, understanding and empathy with what each generation has to offer. They both have something essential to offer in order to move your corporate office forward. The problem arises when one generation uses their attributes to confer power over the whole.

    What I'm seeing, at a guess, is the older employees using their longevity to justify the validity of their dominance. That's not enough to move things forward in a constantly changing world.
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: Hi Erika,
    When I saw your topic, I first thought you were addressing discrimination AGAINST older people. I've heard a lot more about older people forcefully "retired" from their jobs than older people discriminating against younger people in work situations.

    Many times, corporations would like to move older people "out" because of the pay scale (older people sometimes make more money because of their experience). Younger, new employees starting out with a company are generally at the bottom of the pay scale, which is sometimes more beneficial for the organization.

    That being said, there are prejudices of all kinds in our world....unfortunately. You say you..."can't help but feel discriminated by them"? Are you genuinely discriminated by them? Could it be your own insecurity? Obviously, if there are factual incidents of discriminination, that is one thing. To feel discriminated by them simply because you feel they are dominant doesn't feel like discrimination. Try your best to connect with ALL people:>)
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: you will understand when you get more mature.

    (relax, i'm just kidding)
  • Apr 3 2013: Erika, you might notice ageism, but there is the reverse also. Getting on a bit, I notice young folks ignore the older ones!

    If you feel discrimination, then I suggest getting to know people better and let them know you better. Some may even want a "grandparent" role in the office and generally, grandparents love their grandchildren! Let people get to know you better and they will want to know you even more, work with you more harmoniously, and greet you cheerfully. Show them your best skills and dedication to duties.

    Relationships can be sour, negative, unsatisfying, sad or a person could take charge to make a change for the better. Offices are opportunities for people to fine tune skills in human relationships. Hey! We're human; we make mistakes and we can cause hurt. But, having confidence in self we can forgive, repair, rise to cheerful living and feel greater satisfaction of life.

    Ageism is not discrimination generally; it is failure for people of all ages to relate well. Get in there and show everyone a better way. Don't let anyone see you whining!!!!!
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: G'day Erika

    When you get a few miles under your belt that will be your answer!!

    Should we discriminate against older people & expect to be one of the boys straight up with very little experience under our belts? We might be a little more educated these days but you still can't beat experience.

  • thumb
    Apr 3 2013: To your first question, people still make assumptions and generalize about those not like them. This can include generalizations the young make about those who are older as well as generalizations older people may make about youth. It can be generalizations about people in a particular profession (like scientists, teachers, or government employees), people with certain kinds of education (like people with PhDs or those who didn't finish high school), people who live in certain neighborhoods...

    When you say older generations are more dominant, so you "can't help but feel discriminated by them," I am not sure how that quite follows. Are you saying that the fact that most people are older makes you feel there is automatically discrimination against you because there should be the same number of employees of each age cohort? Are you saying that older, more senior, and more experienced people get more important or interesting work, which feels like discrimination? Or are you saying that when you have the same amount of experience as someone who just happens to be older, the older person gets the better projects or more pay?

    What exactly is going on that creates the situation that you "can't help but feel discriminated by them?"
    • Apr 3 2013: I see how there can be a confusion in my statement there. I guess what I was trying to say was that when I am judged by my age, my biggest concern that comes to my mind is if they think whether or not I am capable to hold a corporate office job. Yes, these are solely my opinions and not necessarily facts. However, I walk around these hallways and I see people raising their eyebrows when they look at me and making peculiar facial gestures. Given the amount of time I have spent here, I can see that this is something I go through on a daily basis. Due to these reasons, I believe that they may see someone my age "incapable" of working in an environment including the responsibilities the position hold therefore, I see this as discrimination. Does that make sense? I hope I answered your question.

      On a random note, only 10-20% of employees that are in ages of 20-25.
      • thumb
        Apr 3 2013: If you got the job through a competitive hiring process and you are pretty new there, people may just be wondering what it was that made you stand out among all the other applicants. Once they start working with you on projects, they will see. Just show who you are by how you do your work.

        I assume you dress more or less like people in the office dress and that you are not the boss' daughter.

        Is it possible that you are reading things into the facial expressions that are not there? Some people who are kind of self-conscious believe people are looking at them and notice every hair out of place and so forth, when it is not really happening.

        My daughters are twenty-three and twenty-six and college graduates like you are. I was a little older than you are when I started my career. On the basis only of my experience, I think a smart and responsible young person comes across as a smart young person and that people will typically not assume you are less capable than older people. They may recognize that you have less experience.
        • Apr 3 2013: Thank you for honest and sincere comments. :)