I received the following email from a reader regarding ageism at work. I’m sharing this to see if others have experienced similar situations and if so, how they have dealt with the situation:
“ I’ve recently turned 50 and have just discovered your website and follow you on Twitter. I find your articles very motivational and interesting. They help to give me confidence and inspiration as I enter the next phase of my life.
One subject I’m very interested in is ageism in the workplace, particularly around derogatory comments made towards older people in the workplace, in the name of so called humour or misguided endearment. Older people seem to be fair game as the butt of jokes around old age and it’s been like this for as long as I can remember.
Ageism hurts and robs people of their self worth
In my experience, younger people are the worst offenders and seem to expect older people to behave in a certain way (act their age). If they don’t ‘conform’ to the stereotypical image driven by a youth centric culture, they are slapped down by being ridiculed, and usually in front of an audience for greater effect. Why don’t people realise that ageism can hurt feelings and rob people of their confidence, dignity and feeling of self worth? Older people are entitled to more respect. They’ve been on this earth for many years and have a lot to offer as a work colleague, mentor, friend, confident and role model.
Sexism, racism and homophobia are not tolerated in the workplace, so why should we tolerate ageism? How do older people stand up to ageist jokes in the workplace without being ridiculed in the process?”
What experience/advice can you share?