Everyday Ageism Tactics You Might Not Notice

There are some ageism tactics that society and organizations employ daily that are difficult to spot. However, if you know what you’re looking for, you can more easily tell if you are the victim of age-bias in your day-to-day life.

Here are some signs you should be checking for throughout your experiences in society and in the workplace.

Everyday Ageism Tactics You Might Not Notice

Silent Ageist Practices At Work

A lot of underlying ageism tactics are employed in the workforce. Anything ranging from age-bias in conversations, to age-bias in hiring, firing and raise practices.

If you are in a meeting and you hear someone being put down because of their age, for example, “he won’t know how to do that, we should find someone younger,” or “they aren’t prepared for that yet, we should find someone older,” you should ask for a walk-through of the reasoning. Find out if the person using ageist language has actual facts to back up their comments, or if they are simply programmed to speak this way because of the ageism that exists around us each and every day.

Also, if you notice that the team you are part of, or those you are surrounded by, all include the same age demographic be sure to look more closely. If you see a team made up of primarily older individuals, or primarily younger individuals, it’s time to speak with their manager. Is there a reason why there isn’t a more diverse workforce or team in terms of age? Maybe there is a way to make the team more age-diverse moving forward, and you can play a part in that.

Plus, be weary in the workforce of who is climbing the ladder, and who is being let go. If you see individuals being held back because of their age, or being released from work because of how many years they have under their belts, say something. Have a chat with HR and reveal what you’re seeing. Bring facts with you. See if there’s anything that can be done, or if there is underlying age-bias that can be solved within the organization you work for.

Silent Ageist Practices In Society

You might notice that age stereotypes follow many of us around during our daily lives. If an older individual goes to the store, they are more likely to be asked if they need help around the store, couldn’t find what they were looking for, or need help bringing bags back to their car.

An older individual might also be singled out from a crowd and expected to fall prey to marketing practices. They might receive more spam mail or phone calls.

A younger person on the other hand might hear stereotypes aimed at themselves that they are lazy, and need to be micromanaged – not only at work, but also by credit card companies, home loan companies, landlords, and parents.

Additional Thoughts

It’s important to constantly be on the lookout for ageism in your life. Age bias sneaks into so many aspects of our day-to-day lives that most of the time we don’t even see it – we’re not immune to it, though. Studies show that we unconsciously change our actions and attitude based on age stereotypes we have flung at us, and that’s upsetting. By calling out those that create age-bias during our day, we can start to eliminate age stereotypes from our lives, and that will make us happier and healthier!

Ageism Educational Resources

What is Ageism?

Ageism In The Workplace

Reverse Ageism At Work

Ageism Stereotypes

Ageism In Interviews

Ageism In Sports

Ageism In Society