Ageism, hidden discrimination

The first forty years of life give us the text; the thirty following the comment ”

Arthur Shopenhauer

In  the labor market there is a type of silent discrimination, less conspicuous than others, but which grows and worsens at times, such as the discrimination suffered by workers over 50 years old in many companies, which are also an age group. with significant difficulties in finding employment . At least, this is the conclusion of the “ Transparency and Good Governance Report on Senior Talent Management in IBEX 35 companies ” prepared by the Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia, which confirms that more than 70% of large Spanish companies provide little or no attention to this group .

However, this discrimination by age or Ageism occurs in a context in which the Spanish (and European) population is aging rapidly and this will surely affect the labor market and the strategy of many companies that currently consists of replacing Older employees by younger , more prepared and cheap people will not be able to continue applying as before and they will have to take much more care of senior talent .

The Observatory of Demography and Generational Diversity of the Instituto de Empresa Foundation has carried out, in collaboration with PeopleMatters , a consultancy firm specialized in People Management, a study entitled “Senior workers in Spanish companies: realities and myths ” where they analyze good practices in this management , within what is called Diversity Management , which encompass the following fields:

  • Awareness and recognitionof the contribution of value , including internal image actions in social networks or creation of intergenerational teams
  • Occupationalsafety and health , with aspects such as the promotion of healthy habits or the prevention of diseases and accidents aimed at this segment
  • Professional development, with support activities to curb the obsolescence of knowledge through mentoring , training , mixed teams …
  • Organization and work environment, adapting the physical requirements of the positions to this profile
  • Age benefits, designing plans that take into account your life circumstances
  • Generational replacement and succession, creating succession plans that allow for a smooth and orderly handover
  • Flexible retirement accessmodels
  • Preparation for retirement, working on the emotional but also economic-financial aspects

In this way, it is possible to continue obtaining a great performance in the different stages of the professionals and managers without wasting their talent. One measure that I find especially attractive is what has been called Reverse Mentoring , through which younger employees are the ones who guide and guide the most veteran in fields such as technology or social media. Surely from that interaction they discover that they have much more in common than they think.

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