In the Baby Boomer generation, we are realizing that professional women and gender bias are still prevalent in our society. Women who reach the age of 50 are struggling and finding it extremely difficult to get hired even though they have years of experience.
Middle aged professional women are realizing that younger women, approximately 20 years their junior, are now being paid less money and are being hired for the jobs that they once had. Due to the fact that younger women will take less money than older women who have more experience, this endangers their job security regardless their seniority.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects the rights of workers 40 and older so they can’t experience this type of discrimination. We still live in a culture where beauty and youth will triumph our experiences. Age based complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have increased 21 percent from ten years ago.
Women who are 50 years and older, according to Joanna Lahey, a professor at the Bush School at Texas A&M, for each decade of age, applicants need to apply for four and a half more jobs just to get an interview. We realize through our economic downfall over the last ten years that numerous companies throughout the United States have cut back by getting rid of people who have been employed for approximately 20-25 years and hired younger for far less money. Although this seems so unfair, another issue is that health insurance is also a huge factor in paying for an employee.
Age discrimination is not exclusive to one profession, the IT, or technology career field is one of the worst according to Senior Counsel Cathy Ventrell-Monsees. Many women in the film industry have also publicly stated that offers for leading roles stop coming in as they reach the ages of 40 and above or that they are expected to “back out of the lime light in Hollywood,” according to CNN.
Forbes reported on this issue recently saying, “In a recent survey, younger workers (ages 18- 35) were more likely to report age discrimination than older workers. Similarly, 44% of employees from the ages of 18 through 24 believe they are treated fairly on the job in comparison with 64% of employees from ages 45-64, according to a survey conducted by a human resources consulting firm. In fact, reverse age discrimination could be another issue, which a younger generation, concerned that their talent is not recognized and opportunities are not open to them because of their youth, might bring to the fore to create another evolution of anti-discrimination law.”
For most women over 65 approaching retirement, social security will be their only source of income. We must continue to fight our legislature and create more public awareness by publicly speaking out against the age discrimination of women in the market today.