Should You Talk To Your Boss About Ageism?
It can be daunting to feel isolated or called-out on the job for ageism stereotypes that are running rampant at your place of employment. While it’s always a good idea to speak with HR about any concerns, it may also be a good idea in your specific situation to speak to your manager as well.
If your boss has created a work community with an open dialogue you should feel able to express any concerns about ageism with them. Try to keep emotion at bay while you discuss any issues that have arisen. Bring hard facts and examples. Reveal how the actions make you feel, but don’t dwell on that – rather offer solutions you see changing the workplace for the better – and not only for yourself, but also anyone else who experiences ageism and isn’t willing to speak up.
If you don’t have an open forum of communication with your boss, is there another way that you could talk to them? Maybe by penning an anonymous letter and sending it via snail mail. Perhaps by inviting your manager to a meeting with fellow co-workers to discuss any concerns about workplace biases. This is a place where HR might be able to offer a tailored solution that would best fit your manager.
If you are afraid to speak to your boss about ageism in your office it might also be a good idea to ask yourself if this is the right place for you to be working. Perhaps you think that the bias you experience is bearable, but what happens if it isn’t in the future?
Ageism happens in multiple offices around the world, but it doesn’t happen everywhere. If you can’t make your office ageism-free, or at least open a dialogue with your manager to move it in that direction, it may be time to bring your abilities somewhere else where they will be better appreciated – and where you will be treated better.