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Age Discrimination: A Major Problem For Women

Jun 26

When you look at women’s issues in the workplace, we often see an emphasis on sexual harassment as well as sex and gender discrimination. However, many women over 40 are saying that while these are problematic occurrences in the American workplace, age discrimination for women is often brutal. But why aren’t we talking about it more? 

Age Discrimination For Women

According to Forbes, for many women in the workforce, age discrimination occurs much sooner for them than it does for men. Lynda Gratton, coauthor of The 100 Year Life: Living and Work in an Age of Longevity explains that ageism is arguably worse than sex discrimination for women in their 40s. Looking at a five-year difference, Gratton proposes that at age 40, many employers will no longer consider women for promotion or training. Whereas for men, age discrimination occurs at 45. 

In a 2015 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, researchers found that in over a dozen cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston, no matter the industry, callbacks for job postings were most often returned for younger women. 

The researchers created fictional resumes for over 40,000 job listings with age being the distinguishing factor. They found that in an occupation that was studied where both men and women applications were sent out, the women who were considered “older” got fewer callbacks then men of a similar age.

In addition, age discrimination is far more prevalent for older women whereas evidence is not as clear for men of the same age.

The researchers are not alone in this. A 2016 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security found that women are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older. But why is gendered ageism such a disproportionate problem?

The answer lies in the fact that ageism for women is not just their age, but also a gender problem. Because age discrimination legislation does not account for the intersection of sex and age, these laws leave many women at risk. In addition, older women may face discrimination based on their looks as they age. Studies show that women in managerial roles often feel like they must comply with beauty standards to remain youthful-looking.

Not only does this leave women not being considered for positions, promotions, etc., but the wage gap continues to grow.

But as a woman in the workforce, what can you do to protect yourself?

Protection Against Discrimination

Whether you are feeling pressured by younger employers or coworkers, or you simply notice a change in how you are treated, know that you do not have to stand for it.

If you suspect age discrimination is happening in your workplace, be sure to document these occurrences. Keeping up with skill-building and industry trends that pushes you ahead of coworkers should equate to promotions and business success. If it does not, this is not a mere coincidence. If you have been passed up for promotions or pay increases, you may be a victim of age discrimination.

New York Age Discrimination Attorneys: Brown Kwon & Lam

As a woman in the workforce, you are facing issues that your male colleagues may just not understand. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to defend yourself. If you are facing age and sex discrimination in New York, let Brown Kwon & Lam handle your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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