Ilișanu & Andrei [Abstract]

Age stereotypes and ageism at the workplace – #ageisjustanumber
[Full text]

Georgiana Ilișanu [1]
Virginia Andrei [2]

Abstract: Because the world population is growing old, as the birth rate has diminished over the past 20-30 years, organizations have to cope with problems associated with inclusive policies that facilitate the integration of people not only of different ethnicity, race or gender, but also of old age. The older applicants for a job as well as the older employees are perceived in various ways because of their age, and their assessment is negatively influence by age-based stereotypes. Commonly encountered stereotypes related to older workers portray them as having lower performances, showing resistance to organizational changes, not being able to learn new skills and doing poorly at the training programs, having low motivation, being easily distracted by health or family issues etc. These perceptions determine different types of discriminatory behaviors and decisions related to older generations like: reducing the opportunities for getting an interview for a job, for getting a promotion, for being sent to a training program, being forced to resign. This sort of stereotypes and ageist behavior, which are part of a type a discrimination called ageism, generate frustration, low self-esteem and affect the activity of old employees at the workplace. Old employees are not the singular target of stereotypes and discrimination – young people hired in an organization are also the victim of ageism. However, the research on the topic as well as the literature on ageism clearly reveal the fact that the frequency older people are subject to ageism is greater than that of young employees. Despite the fact that the term of ageism dates backs some decades ago, most of the researches agree upon the fact that this phenomenon, unlike racism or sexism, is not thoroughly investigated. Although suggestions regarding the policies that should be implemented to reduce this phenomenon have been formulated, the level of age-based discrimination at the working place is still at alarming rates in many developed countries.

Keywords: Aging population, age-based stereotypes, ageism at the workplace, old employees

[1] University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania,
[2] University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania,