As part of our #BREAKFREE campaign, we’ve put together five methods to challenge ageism in the work place as we believe that no matter what your age, female empowerment is essential…
The Equality Act 2010 serves to protect individuals from age discrimination, especially at work or when applying for a job. Sadly, in most cases, employers still have the upper hand if a person’s age acts as a limitation based on the skills that the job requires. But don't let that hold you back - here are five ways you can age-proof your job…
1. Broaden your skillset
It’s a known fact that companies don’t dismiss people they perceive as a value to their business. Speaking of which, it’s crucial that you make yourself as indispensable as possible in order for your employer to see just how committed you are. Take advantage of every opportunity that becomes available and undergo additional training if needs be. The more contributions you make, the less likely your employer will find your age an issue.
2. Don’t stereotype yourself
You know the saying, 'How do you expect anyone to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?' Well, the same thing applies here. Avoid stereotyping yourself, and try not to limit your contributions. You are worthy and you are capable.
3. Get feedback
Let’s be honest, many companies are lazy when it comes to giving their employees feedback. Take the lead and seek out feedback from people you trust – perhaps a former co-worker might be a good place to start? Identify what skills you are lacking and how you can improve upon the ones you already have. There is always room for improvement.
4. Assess the situation
First, consider whether the issues raised are a form of discrimination or simply a misunderstanding. It’s also essential that you identify the underlying causes of your victimisation and address them to your manager in a clear, concise manner. Don’t retaliate - remain calm and deal with the issue accordingly.
5. Gather your evidence
After assessing your case, decide whether you really are a victim of ageism. If so, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim including insulting comments or stereotyping that may have been exhibited by your manager or co-workers. It’s important that you have witnesses and written documents to support your contentions also. Maybe you have colleagues who have also experienced age discrimination in the workplace, too?