Aging women are being gradually phased out of the workplace according to a study done by researchers at University of Irvine and Tulane University in 2015. The study involved creating 40,000 fake job applications and monitoring the process these applications went through. It was discovered that older female workers between 64-66 had a very difficult time landing jobs.
The call back rates for older females were very low, as they were for middle aged female workers between 49-51. The study noted the call back rates for middle aged men and for younger men were equal. The Age Discrimination of Employment Act of 1967 is designed to protect individuals who are aged 40 and older. Yet, age discrimination is still very real. There were 21,000 age discrimination charges filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2015.
The numbers are rising but suits are often quietly settled. Although they have a fight on their hands, women are still coming forward and taking their employers to court when they feel it necessary. Age and gender bias are real-world issues that women face in the workplace, and there are women willing to fight against it. They are fighting against a system that tells them they are no longer valued.
The women may be viewed as more of a liability to their employer rather than an asset.
Older men, on the other hand, are typically seen for the knowledge and experience they possess in the workplace. The end of the study brought about a few theories on why aging women are suffering discrimination at the rate they are. One of them is that discrimination laws are not as effectively enforced when dealing with age and gender bias.
They also theorize that the focus is often on the older woman’s appearance, and aging women are most vulnerable in this area. Older women are facing many stresses in today’s workforce, but that does not mean they have to succumb to the pressure. They have the challenge of making a prospective employer realize the wisdom and value they bring to the table, and make them feel like they would be lucky to have such a seasoned individual on their team.
What do you think of employers passing up older women for hire? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter @lcarterwriter.