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Ep35 Transcript: Addressing Ageism in the Workplace – Top Takeaways from Interviewing Barbara Brooks
Hey, late starters, it’s your host, Andrea Vahl, and in today’s episode of Top Takeaways, I’m going to dive a little bit deeper into my interview with Barbara Brooks, the founder and CEO of Second Act Women. We’re going to specifically talk about ageism in corporate America and ageism in general, and how we can defeat this.
Hello Dreamers. Welcome to the Late Starters Club, giving you the inspiration mindset and tools you need to start something midlife and beyond. Remember, it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out episode 34 with Barbara Brooks, I highly encourage you to do that.
It was so inspiring, but what I was really shocked to find out that only 8% of companies included age as a part of their diversity, equity, and inclusion statement. The DE&I. And that is according to research done by the advisory board, a research and services company. I did a little more digging and found out that according to ARP, three out of five workers either experienced or witnessed age-related discrimination in their workplace.
And with all the experience and knowledge that older workers have later in their careers, ageism is just ridiculous.
I’m so old, I have nothing left to give.
We have to change the conversation. So what can be done about this situation? I think it comes from good leadership and for people to be more aware of what kinds of policies are in place at their companies.
So you might ask about what kind of DE&I you have at your company, what does that include? And if it doesn’t include age, you might start the conversation about how that can be updated and amended. Good leadership also sets the company culture. You want to be in a culture that includes and appreciates all different ages and that includes younger ages and older ages. Obviously, the younger generation can also experience ageism by not getting a promotion that is deserving when they have done the work and are clearly talented. A good company culture can also include not making fun of certain generations like boomers or Gen Z or talking really negatively about those different age groups.
I think another way to combat ageism in the workplace is to set up multi-generational teams so that people are working together and appreciating each other’s gifts that they bring to the table, such as experience or excitement or whatever that gift might be. A good culture can also make sure that people are allowed to have real conversations in the workplace and bring this type of feedback to the leaders.
I have a couple of great resources around ageism and how you might start those conversations in your workplace, and I think acceptance has to come from both sides, both younger and older generations.
Another thing that I think people can do is if they have experienced age related discrimination, is to bring that up with HR and their company to send a message that this is not okay, and hopefully that will start some change in that.
The good news is like Barbara experienced, is that we are in a time where you can really create your own future. It’s easier than ever to start a new job to create a new type of business. If you have exited out of corporate America, just like Barbara did, you might do some consulting or you might start your own business in something that you’ve always wanted to try.
There are so many great examples of people on this podcast who have started a business in their fifties, sixties, and even seventies. It’s amazing, so don’t worry if you are, have experienced that, you can start something new. And I am really thankful that people like Barbara are sounding the alarm about this type of discrimination and hopefully creating a powerful impact in corporations.
Hope that was helpful, and make sure you grab the free guide Top Tools for late starters on the website at latestartersclub.com and let’s turn dreaming into doing.
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