Although women lead healthier, longer lives, the cruel perception that they reach their sell-by date and become "old" sooner than men is widespread in the workplace, research shows.|
A survey of more than 2,600 managers and personnel professionals showed that age discrimination is not only rife in the workplace, but is shot through with inconsistencies.
Six in ten managers reported being a victim of age discrimination - usually because they were turned down for a job for being too old or too young. Yet more than a fifth admitted that they used age as a recruitment criterion.
Although the survey found widespread agreement that older workers were better than younger colleagues when it came to reliability, commitment, loyalty and customer service, these qualities were not necessarily considered to be deserving of advancement.
More than half of respondents believed that workers between 30 and 39 had the best promotion prospects, with only 2 per cent citing 50-year-olds or above.
Dianah Worman of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said that there was anecdotal evidence that people were considered old at different ages in different sectors.
"We heard of one man working in IT who said he was considered too old by the age of 28," she said.
There was no evidence to suggest that older workers were less valuable to companies than younger workers, in fact the opposite was often true because older workers often brought experience, she added.
The findings also suggested that the Government's ideas on age in the workforce may also be out of step with reality.
shot through with : (充满……的)
out of step : (步调不一致)