This article is definitely infuriating at least to me. I don't believe the author made a conscious choice to diminish older and beyond-their-prime professionals but definitely a poor analogy used to describe the Age Closet. As a diversity proponent, countering Ageism is big on my inclusion agenda. Sadly, Ageism has never captured the same level of public attention as racism and sexism for instance! The need to perpetuate awareness of generational diversity is more important than ever before. As more millennials take up leadership roles, the power struggle between baby boomers, an aging working population and today’s younger generation is becoming more and more ubiquitous, causing complications like not having the ability to understand each other's aspirations, motivation, and work-style. But also its a fact that older professionals and people, in general, don’t seem to be a big part of the current conversations. Which is why it's essential to talk about this even more so than ever before. Like someone said, Representation Matters. This article is advocating older professionals to hide their age, this rankles me to no end.
Old age isn't something we are born with, unlike gender, sexuality, or race. It is something we grow into and it affects us all, even Millenials at some point.
Being an older professional myself as I have been dubbed to be at the wrong side of the Age Fence.. in my early 40s I have been at the receiving end of hands-down ageist policies of many companies. I can only wonder in absolute disgust what must be the experience of professionals like me and the ones beyond that age fence.
I was in fact told in my face by a millennial entrepreneur that I wasn't cut out for a start-up job primarily because I wouldn't be able to match the fast-paced work style of millennials... because I'm older than most his current staff and so it was deemed right for him to assume that I may not have matching energy level!
Haha. You cannot reason with morons like that. I have personally nothing against Millenials or their self-superiority mindset. Millennials constitute a large part of the demographic I work with for Diversity Recruitment. It is, however, essential for them as well the Gen Z to be attuned to the challenges and prejudices faced by many older professionals and people.... like they feel about other minority professionals and their representation. Yes, you will see a millennial or Gen Z propagating sustainability and equality without a doubt on their social agenda.
However, you cannot have Selective Diversity and assume older professionals cannot contribute much to the workforce and hence do not warrant mention and concentrated focus.
Many older professionals, myself included, have been continuously learning, contributing, and evolving. That is the reason this demographic is so resilient to rejections - professional and personal. I am successfully running multiple businesses and building my empire. Age isn't even a number I consider in achieving and growing as an individual.
Also, I am not hiding my age on social media/ dating sites even and I have no intention of doing so yet sometimes articles like these make me feel that I ought to embrace and celebrate even more my "old" age, experience and simply being fabulous!
Older Workers Have a Big Secret: Their Age by Carol Hymowitz
Afraid of being rejected by younger managers and colleagues, they hide things that might reveal their true age.