While people are vocally against sexism and racism in the workplace, these same people who oppose these views were found to be prejudiced against older employees. That’s what research published by the American Psychological Association found in a study that involved interviewing 348 people.
One of the study’s researchers, Michael North from NYU, recently spoke with Next Avenue about the ageist thinking that persists. North, who is in his 30s, shared a memory of his own ageist thinking, of being told at 22 that his work as a research assistant would involve interviewing people in their 30s and also people aged 60 or older. He recalls thinking he’d be fine with the thirtysomethings, but that the older people would be boring.
As it turns out, he enjoyed speaking with every age group, but that he most liked interviewing the older adults the most. A few years later, when he and his graduate mentor chatted about ageism, she pointed out that not many people focus on it and they agreed to study it.
North shared that their focus for the research study was tied to the idea that older people are being left out, ignored and talked over. He also refers to the tension that exists for older people being expected to get out of the way when it comes to jobs and resources so that the younger generation can step up.
North shares more about whether there are similar ageist expectations of older men and older women, patterns regarding racism, sexism and ageism, what they found about the views of younger people regarding older people getting out of the way, and why ageism is still somewhat deemed okay. You can read more from the interview over at Next Avenue.