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How ageism and sexism are still overlooked in the workplace

Ohio employment lawIn 2019, diversity is being touted everywhere, including in many workplaces. So why is it that many employers embrace some areas of diversity while ignoring others?

Ageism is often omitted as a form of bias, especially gender ageism. According to research from AARP, roughly two out of three workers over the age of 45 across the US have either experienced or witnessed age discrimination. More than half say discrimination starts among workers ages 50 and older.

CNBC reports that one of the fastest growing age groups in the US workforce is workers ages 65 and older. This is primarily due to stagnant wage growth, obsolete pensions, delayed Social Security benefits, and longer lifespans.

How women are impacted by ageism

Gender bias is already a common problem in the workplace – with women earning less than men working in the same professions, and even being pushed out of male-dominated workplaces. Older women get the brunt of age and gender discrimination, however.

According to research from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), women over 50 are likely to experience discrimination earlier than their male coworkers. Society’s importance and expectations of beauty among women is believed to be the primary cause of discrimination – rendering women “less valuable” in the workplace.

Sadly, this type of discrimination is often overlooked, and rather, the norm. Many older women are pushed out of jobs they’ve worked at for years. Employers often sugarcoat this as downsizing or consolidation. Some older women are even denied employment or passed up for promotions.

Why companies can benefit from promoting inclusion

No matter what age or gender someone is, employees and professionals dedicated to their jobs or careers shouldn’t have to face discrimination. Companies should place more emphasis on what employees bring to the table rather than their age or gender. This can only be accomplished by developing a program that promotes inclusion and covers all facets of diversity.

Older women tend to have a wealth of knowledge and experience that companies can benefit from – much of which hasn’t been developed or adopted by their younger counterparts.

According to Forbes, roughly 56 percent of companies with more than $10 billion in annual revenues agree that innovation can be driven by diversity.

“We have a vast amount of diversity [within the company] that comes into work every day to build technology that plays out around the world. You can’t be successful on a global stage without it,” said Rosalind Hudnell, director of global diversity and inclusion at Intel.

If you believe that you have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to your age or gender, speak to an experienced Cleveland employment attorney at Nilges Draher LLC. We represent workers who have experienced all types of workplace discrimination and have a proven track record of holding employers accountable.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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