The discrimination of a 40-year-old student by other students at the college has had a lot of repercussions in recent days in the media in general. This case highlighted the prejudice that has always existed in our society. In this specific case, it has a name and it is called ageism. It is a term used to describe acts of discrimination and prejudice against people based on age stereotypes.
In addition to college banks, it also exists in the job market and happens daily. Hiring younger people and firing those over 40 or 50 are more common situations in the labor sector than you might think.
In this way, ageism can be detected when a person feels disadvantaged, humiliated or minimized by age. In the workplace, the highest rate of ageism occurs with people over 37 years old for women and 40 years old for men.
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Ageism in Cinema
The theme even served as the basis for the film a Mr Internwhere recently retired Robert De Niro accepts an apprenticeship at Anne Hathaway’s successful startup.
In this way, he starts with nothing to do, becomes his boss’s driver and soon becomes her confidant and strategic advisor, in addition to helping to save his position in the company and his marriage.
Art imitating life? For sure! There is a good deal of realism in the story about the value of the wisdom, experience, and common sense of mature people over the capabilities of the young.
Unfortunately discrimination exists in all segments of our society.
Prejudice in companies
Although companies are starting to invest in diversity and inclusion more frequently, many still fail to look at it that way. This error reduces growth opportunities for older people, and leaves out of the market the portion of the population that, according to IBGE surveys, will be the majority of the country’s population in 2060.
Looking for a job opportunity or trying a new career after the age of 40 can be a difficult task, as years of experience do not always become an advantage in a selection process.
Despite being a crime to discriminate when offering job opportunities, some companies carry out this type of conduct. Some selection processes even give older people the opportunity to participate, placing an age limit as a criterion in job advertisements.
Therefore, be aware that recruiters cannot make demands related to gender, color, marital status, age, among others, when advertising an opportunity. It is written in the Federal Constitution.
However, even with the ban, situations like these still happen and entering the job market may not be so easy for older professionals. According to a published survey, 70% of surveyed professionals over 40 say they have been discriminated against because of their age.
How to fight ageism?
The growth of the elderly population is increasing in Brazil. According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 41.4% of the population is between 30 and 59 years old and 14.7% is over 60 years old.
Given this scenario, it is necessary to review these concepts of hiring and dismissal. Therefore, with the aging of the population, the number of mature professionals in the labor market will increase. It will be necessary to change and adapt to age diversity.
So what actions should be taken NOW? With the adoption of strategic practices, it is possible to slowly overturn this type of prejudice. Thus, among some actions is the creation of inclusion programs. Among the practices that should be included in this program are:
- Description of positions and functions that do not discriminate against mature professionals;
- Encouraging the use of inclusive language and repudiating derogatory language;
- Awards to employees over 40 who perform well;
- Events and lectures dealing with ageism at work.
- Creation of spaces for valuing these professionals, in which they can report their experiences and feelings.
Another immediate action is to provide adequate working conditions. Thus, the company needs to take care of the well-being and quality of life of mature employees. Thus, this involves granting specific benefits, such as: medical consultations, discounts at gyms and alternative therapies. In addition, it is also important to make the workload more flexible and build accessible environments.
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