While older men commonly face age-related workplace discrimination, older women tend to feel its impact even more. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, this may be because older women are subjected to both age and gender discrimination and because men are not penalized over their physical appearance as much as women are. However, experts say that there are things female workers can do to avoid getting marginalized as they age.
43First of all, women should recognize their value in the workplace. They can do this by reflecting on their skills and learning to clearly articulate their value. They should also take the time to communicate their accomplishments to their superiors and document their successes. Second, women should make sure that they network within different age groups at work. This can expose them to new ideas and help them avoid looking out of touch. Third, women should assess what their manager needs to meet their goals and work to visibly provide it. Fourth, women can help themselves by finding an influential sponsor at least two levels above them. This type of ally can help open career doors and also protect someone's job if they are in danger of being wrongly pushed out due to their age.
Finally, older women should know their legal rights. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment law protects people who are 40 or over. Understanding these rights could help protect a woman before or after she is discriminated against.
People of either gender who suffer age-related workplace discrimination could learn more about their legal options by contacting an employment rights attorney. An attorney could help document the case and file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Source: Forbes, "Age Discrimination And Women In The Workplace. Here's How to Avoid Getting Pushed Out", Bonnie Marcus, May 12, 2018