Wed, 11 Jul, 2018
Is ageism affecting you?
Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.
Yah, we made it! We got old! Now we are ageing in the millennial world, which we have played a part in creating.
Is ageism affecting you? Ageism is simply discrimination against older people in the workforce, in the media, in advertising, and in the social scene.
One of the major areas where ageism is evident, is in the employment of older workers. Older workers can provide years of experience, life skills, and be great mentors to younger workers. But nearly a third of the officially unemployed workers are aged 45-65 years old. If someone loses their job at this age, they may never gain more than a casual, part-time position. These are the vital years pre-retirement, when employees build up savings and superannuation for their golden years.
Basically, many employers do discriminate against hiring older workers from their candidates. Some unemployed older worker can retrain, but may battle an overlooked prejudice, the ageism of the potential employer. These retrained workers may never gain employment. If they do, they may have only 5-10 years of working life remaining. Many employers prefer to hire someone younger.
Ageism is also evident in the media. For instance, no weather girl on the television is an old, grey, fat woman. Weather girls are anorexic, beautiful, blonde bimbos who can barely read an autocue. Maybe old, fat, grey women don’t want to be weather girls. That’s okay. Maybe they do, and the employers in television land hire young, attractive babes. That is ageism.
On the other hand, ageism can factor in a reverse situation. An older, more experienced nurse, doctor, allied health professional, or a teacher, can still attract job opportunities. Society regards their experience as both valid and valuable. In my personal experience, as a teacher/tutor for 42 years, I receive part-time job offers as a tutor, several times per week. Nice to be asked.
Moreover, seniors have discounts on travel fares, a senior’s card discount on purchases, and some concessions with their pensions. But is the level of the senior’s pension, a sign of ageism itself? Most household budgets are eroded by the cost of food and bills.
What are your experiences? Is ageism affecting you?