“I believe I have unlimited potential but it is not supported by others due to my age (53) as if I’m not relevant anymore – hard to fight that bias when it’s pervasive.” unemployed woman in advertising/marketing
Gendered ageism is the intersectionality of age and gender bias. In the workplace, this is a growing concern for professional women. See this infographic.
Society’s emphasis on what Catalyst defines as ‘lookism’ which is the importance of a youthful and attractive appearance, puts women under a microscope as they show visible signs of aging. Because of ‘lookism’, women face ageism earlier than their male counterparts. The bias erodes women’s self-esteem and confidence, but the effects of gendered ageism for professional women go beyond the pressure they may feel to look young. This form of bias affects their job security and financial future as they are perceived in the workplace as being less valuable, less competent, and irrelevant as they age.
To better understand how gendered ageism affects professional women, I conducted research in collaboration with Catherine Lindner of Out-Wit, Inc. The survey collected responses from 729 participants aged 18- 70+, with 65% of respondents coming from the United States and the majority of the remainder coming from Canada, the UK and Europe.
Read the full article on Forbes.com.
One of the 188 different types of cognitive biases affect decisions linked to age. Both women and men experience ageism in the workplace. Although ageism happens at different times and for different reasons, it happens to everyone. The biases we have about gender and age are directly linked to what we have been taught by our parents, teachers and the media.
Bias is the biggest barrier to diversity; gender is just one of the many ways an organization becomes diverse. Age is in our mind as much as it is in our body. If we think we are being discriminated against because we are an older woman, then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Keep in mind our words are only 7% of any message; 93% is non-verbal communication. Appearance is part of a non-verbal message. It is connected to how we dress, our posture, gestures, and facial expressions. Remember, when you think your age is driving the hiring or promotion decision, then you are probably sending that message non-verbally. Think positive that you have so much to bring to the job!
I heard about your podcast while I attended HER SPIRIT, Story Summit Women Writers Retreat last week in Santa Fe. I was lucky enough to receive a fellowship to attend due to my recent memoir, The Understory: A Female Environmentalist in the Land of the Midnight Sun. It describes my journey as a female in a mans world and eventually my fight for equality as a biologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I am now 65 and I retired from USDA in 2017 after my last battle with them as an employee. And in March of 2017 I represented scientists, who were not allowed to attend much less speak, as the speaker in Palmer, Alaska. And, for the first time, I was not threatened or gagged! It was pure freedom to speak. Bad Ass Women hits home with me. My story is in the process of publication with hopefully, a release in December or January. It has been optioned for a screen play by Pamela Weiss and Rebecca Bloom’s production company, Hold It While I P. Thank you for a platform for Bad Ass Women. And if you have need for a BAW Environmentalist on your podcast, I would be grateful, humbled and honored. Thank you for what you do. This article truly, hits home.
What a shame that 53 ish is considered over the hill, no longer useful, instead of a person with value, experience, wisdom.
It started I think when the term senior included people as young as 55 years young. This connotation must be rethought. Of course age is a mindset. Chronologically seniors ought to be 70 years young not 55. I am 71 and still don’t consider myself as a senior!