Can laws rid ageism at work?

Speaking from experience, ageism is one of the worst “isms”, as it is a reaction to a process none of us can avoid.

Moves to bring in anti-ageist regulations are applaudable, but it is hard to see how legislation will change people’s minds. A job ad which I read recently illustrated this problem when it said: “It is unusual for people with more than ten years’ commercial experience to join this type of consulting firm, which demands evidence of achievement early in one’s career and an excellent marketing track record.” I always knew I had wasted 40 years learning the business, and now I know why – or do I?

What exactly happens to us past the age of, say, 30? It would seem that we automatically go into a decline that enfeebles both body and mind – at least, if the recruitment ads are anything to go by.

The first change to implement will surely be for recruitment companies to produce ads which do not imply ageism, and not allow their clients to do the same. This, I fear, will require legislation – but will it change minds? I doubt it. Or is this plain cynicism?

Norm Clark

Norm Clark Training



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