It has been said the current labor market and ‘great resignation’ may favor employees looking for new jobs and opportunities. But a recent study suggests one class of workers, older adults, may still suffer from ageism, especially in hiring.
New research released this month by WerkLabs, a division of the Mom Project, a nonprofit helping businesses attract and retain female talent, suggested that older workers still face preconceptions and barriers to employment.
The survey of 700 professionals over the age of 40 found that 95% of survey participants who reported experiencing ageism admitted to having consciously tried to physically conceal or mask the appearance of their age in interviews.
The job search can be particularly difficult for older workers; 75% of respondents said they experienced discrimination during their job search, while just 53% indicated ageism occurred at their workplace. Résumé formatting, which includes a graduation year and total years of experience, often makes it hard to avoid the issue. WerkLabs’s research found ageism was particularly endemic in financial services, advertising and marketing, and technology, three fast-growing industries.
“Anything from language used in job descriptions to a hiring manager telling a prospective employee he or she is ‘overqualified’ can be considered age discrimination,” WerkLabs President Pam Cohen, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.