Is ageism widespread in the workplace? (Fox News)

According to an online article by Fox News, ageism is “the last of the -isms (racism, sexism) to get any attention,  especially in the workplace. But ageism is rampant. Once workers hit 50 or 55,  they start to worry about how their age is perceived and whether they will be  passed over for a job or promotion.  And for good reason.”

In a survey of more than 4,000 retail workers (ranging in age from 18 to 94) in three  regions of the U.S., researchers found that “one-third of workers believe that older employees  are less likely to be promoted, one-third do not believe it’s a problem, and  one-third were unable to say.”

The researchers then wanted to see how this bias effected the motivation of  employees.  “We wondered: Does the perception of age bias in the workplace  have an impact on employees’ motivation or sense of engagement in their jobs?” said James.

They found that employees of all ages who perceived an age bias were less  engaged in their work than those who did not perceive such discrimination. Not surprisingly, the perception of age bias was more strongly related to lower  engagement among older workers than younger workers. Perceptions of age bias  seem to make employees less likely to go that extra mile, even those who believe  such bias is warranted.

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About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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