Although illegal, age discrimination persists in the world of work

Although illegal, age discrimination persists in the world of work

Age is too often a criterion of stigmatization in the job market. But contrary to what one might think, those over 50 are not the only ones to suffer from it. Young people can also be victims of stereotypes that make their integration into the professional world more difficult.

The numbers speak for themselves. More than a third of hiring managers surveyed in a Resume Builders survey say they have ageist biases against members of Generation Z. They worry about their lack of experience, their attitude at work and their tendency to do “job hopping”. They also believe that they are unreliable and not as hardworking as their elders.

These preconceived ideas are so widespread that they can hinder the professional development of young professionals. This is why job candidates might be tempted to remove any reference to age from their CV. But recruiters can easily calculate it based on diplomas and professional experience. They can also use the candidate’s photo to get an idea of ​​their year of birth.

Like their juniors, more senior workers may be victims of prejudice and stereotyping due to their age during hiring processes. Recruiters are concerned about the likelihood that senior talent will retire within a few years of joining the company, or that their health will be fragile. They also believe they are not tech-savvy enough to meet the needs of their future employer and that they work too slowly.

This discriminatory process against those over 50 does not stop with reading CVs. Hiring professionals interviewed by Resume Builders are very harsh in judging senior job seekers who, in their opinion, look too old. More than 40% of them would refuse to offer them work based solely on their physical appearance.

Generally speaking, 64% of recruiters surveyed with ageist prejudices believe that employers have every interest in not surrounding themselves with employees over 50 years old. However, they would have a lot to teach their younger colleagues.

If discrimination based on age is normally prohibited by law in France and in many countries, the results of this survey show how widespread this phenomenon is. In 2021, the World Health Organization even deemed it a “global issue”. For good reason, ageism has serious and profound consequences on the health and well-being of people who are its victims. An estimated 6.3 million cases of depression worldwide are caused by ageism.

*This survey was conducted by the Pollfish platform, on behalf of the Resume Builder site, among 1,000 American recruiters. Data was collected on March 21, 2024.

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