Age Discrimination is Limiting Career Options Say Two in Three Baby Boomers

Over two-thirds of Baby Boomers in the US say that their age puts them at a disadvantage in job searches, according to new research.

The landscape of job searchers in the US reflects a concerning trend for Baby Boomers. Despite a doubling of Baby Boomers (ages 60-78) in the workforce compared to three and a half decades ago, a staggering 78% perceive their age as a potential drawback when vying for new positions. Notably, 68% of Baby Boomers feel disadvantaged in job searches, as revealed by the latest survey conducted by the American Staffing Association and The Harris Poll. This sentiment contrasts starkly with younger generations, with only half of Gen Z (55%), along with 51% of Gen X and 39% of Millennials, sharing similar concerns about age affecting job prospects.

The data coincides with recent statistics showing a significant rise in employment among older adults, with nearly one-in-five US adults aged 65 and older being employed last year, nearly double the proportion from 35 years ago. Moreover, the survey underscores the pervasive belief among Baby Boomers (68%) that their age poses challenges in securing new employment, compared to 53% of Gen X, 29% of Millennials, and 48% of Gen Z. These findings underscore a need for a concerted effort to address age-related biases and promote inclusivity in the job market. 

Age Discrimination in the Workplace

In a broader perspective, a significant portion of Baby Boomers (53%) express concerns about how their age might limit their career opportunities. Moreover, employed Baby Boomers demonstrate a lower inclination (42%) to request a raise in 2024 compared to their younger counterparts: 66% of Gen Z, 67% of Millennials, and 51% if Gen X.

Additionally, the Baby Boomer generation exhibit notably less interest in job hunting in 2024 (21%) in contrast to younger demographics (Gen Z: 69%; Millennials: 50%; Gen X: 37%). These statistics highlight a disparity in career advancement strategies and job-seeking behaviours across different groups. Without attributing it directly, a notable figure in the staffing industry advocates for a fundamental shift in how older workers are perceived by the U.S. labour market.

The CEO of the American Staffing Association emphasises the illegality of age discrimination and stresses the imperative for policy makers and HR leaders to address and dispel ingrained misconceptions, stereotypes, and biases towards mature workers. He underscores the invaluable wealth of knowledge and workplace skills possessed by older employees, which are vital assets for the present and future needs of America.

Benefits of a Multigenerational Team

In today’s diverse workforce, each generation brings a unique set of strengths and perspectives to teams, contributing to a dynamic and innovative workplace culture.

Traditionalists (born before 1946)

Traditionalists are known for their strong work ethic, loyalty, and respect for authority. They bring a wealth of experience and institutional knowledge to the workplace. Their dedication to detail and adherence to processes can help maintain stability within teams.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)

Baby Boomers are often characterised by their professionalism, teamwork skills, and dedication to their careers. They possess strong leadership abilities and are adept at monitoring younger colleagues. Their emphasis on face-to-face communication and networking can foster strong relationships with teams.

Generation X (born 1965-1980)

Generation Xers are known for their independence, adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit. They bring a pragmatic approach to problem-solving and are comfortable with technology. Their ability to balance work and life commitments can promote wellbeing within teams, while their resourcefulness and creativity can lead to innovative solutions.

Millennials (born 1981-1996)

Millennials are often described as tech-savvy, collaborative, and socially conscious. They thrive in diverse and inclusive work environment and value meaningful work over traditional perks. Their fluency in digital tools can drive digital transformation within teams, while their enthusiasm for learning and feedback can foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Generation Z (born 1997 onwards)

Generation Z is the newest addition to the workforce, characterised by their digital nativism, entrepreneurial mindset, and desire for authenticity. They bring fresh perspectives and an intuitive understanding of emerging technologies in teams. Their ability to quickly adapt to change and embrace diversity can help teams stay agile and competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape.

How Can Wellity Support You?

“Age is just a number”: Embracing Generational Differences

This enlightening session promotes understanding and appreciation of generational diversity In the workplace. Participants will learn to leverage the unique strengths of different age groups, creating an inclusive and collaborative environment that harnesses the full potential of a multigenerational team.

Objectives:

  • Recognise the value of generational diversity and its potential to drive innovation and creativity within the team.
  • Challenge and overcome age-related stereotypes and biases to create a more inclusive culture.
  • Encourage knowledge-sharing and mentorship between different generations, fostering a culture of continuous learning.
  • Harness generational differences to maximise team synergy and collective performance.

For any training around this topic, book a meeting with our team at hello@wellityglobal.com.

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