Age discrimination, or ageism, is a prevalent issue in many industries. With rapid technological advancements, there is increasing emphasis on upskilling. Today, employers encourage workers to acquire and develop strong tech skills at work. Unfortunately, this puts older workers at a disadvantage. Because of their age, many often assume they need more help than anyone in keeping up with these advancements.
Ageism is commonplace. And many people see no issue with perpetuating this harmful belief.
Ageism is a type of discrimination that is deeply ingrained in the culture. And this discrimination often goes unnoticed or even accepted as the norm. Many false stereotypes plague the workplace, making older workers feel inferior. These include:
- Less ability with technology than younger workers
- Resistance to learning new technologies
- Difficulty adapting to changes in technology
Employers should not be concerned about older workers’ technological abilities. When these stereotypes continue to prevail, they result in harmful effects such as withheld job opportunities or promotions that younger people get to enjoy.
Undoing the bias against age
When computers were first introduced in the 1980s, it is true that older workers initially struggled to adapt to new technologies. However, that is not the case today. Recent evidence suggests that they are now just as proficient as younger workers. This means that despite facing challenges early on, older workers have successfully learned to navigate the digital landscape. And they are now equally skilled as young workers at using technology in the workplace.
Confronting ageism at work
Ageism is unacceptable in any workplace. So, employers and employees alike must work toward a more inclusive culture in the modern workplace. And work to end age-related biases and stereotypes. If anyone experiences ageism, they have a legal right to protect themselves against these biases under Missouri laws.