Age discrimination is a real concern for mature professionals and job seekers. Most older professionals will be discriminated against because of their age at one point or another in their career. Ageism is not only an issue, it’s illegal.

signs of ageism in the workplace


10 Signs of Ageism in the Workplace

Even though it happens, it is not always as blatant or obvious as other forms of discrimination. Here are some of the common signs of ageism in the workplace:

  1. Giving Preference To Younger Employees: There is a trend for management to give preference to younger employees. They are given better or more fun work assignments. Older workers are assigned more unpleasant tasks within the organization.
  2. You Are Left Out: Older employees are often left out of meetings, social gatherings, and company activities. There is a feeling of isolation and not being part of the team.
  3. Only Hiring Younger People: Your company is hiring people under a certain age. There are fewer and fewer older people working for the company. The company is deliberately trending younger.
  4. Older Employees Are Passed Over For Promotions: Hiring managers do not show interest in promoting or giving additional responsibilities to older employees.
  5. Uncharacteristically Poor Performance Reviews: Even though your performance has not dipped, you do not get a favorable review. Your manager is harder on you than younger employees.
  6. Comments About Your Age: Other employees crack jokes or make comments about your age or question your abilities. For example, you are too slow or can’t get tasks done because you are too old.
  7. Forced Retirement: The company is systematically phasing out older workers. They are choosing to lay them off, force them into retirement or eliminate jobs that are held by older individuals.
  8. Lack Of Professional Development Opportunities: Education and professional development opportunities are automatically offered to younger employees without asking you.
  9. Underlying Assumptions: While certain things may not be said, there are certain unwritten rules or assumptions that apply to older employees.
  10. Harassment: In some cases, there is blatant harassment. This could be in the form of mean-spirited jokes, name-calling, and other actions that are intended to get you to quit your job.

Read More From Our Executive Search Blog

How to Overcome Ageism When Applying for Jobs

Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?

4 Tips for Mature Job Seekers Having Issues Getting Hired


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Danielle Bosley Toronto Recruiter

Danielle Bosley

Danielle is a Recruitment Consultant with our Accounting and Finance team, primarily focused on placing talent with mid-sized public accounting firms. Danielle has five years of experience in the recruitment industry, starting out as a recruitment coordinator and growing into a recruitment and candidate sourcing specialist.

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