BlueSteps Career Management and Executive Search Blog
The BlueSteps Career Management Blog is written with a C-level audience in mind on career management topics ranging from executive compensation, executive resumes, and interview tips to networking, executive job search, and gaining visibility as a professional in one’s industry.
The BlueSteps Executive Search Blog links senior executive candidates to actual retained search recruitment insights from AESC member executive recruiters, BlueSteps career advisors and other guest writers.
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Diversity at the leadership level or in the workplace.
As professionals age, each individual is accountable to apply their intellect to mitigate the risks associated with ageism. Since the last publication, Warren Buffett, at his annual shareholders meeting noted that one of his top executives is 92, and still running one of his largest business units. This statement speaks for itself.
Subsequent to the first post on this series on ageism, there have been two publications reported by the Wall Street Journal which validate the active practice of ageism in the job market. As these reports come from the US, one involves a potential violation in US Labor Law. With that being said, the purpose of this publication series is not about how to find yourself engaged in a multiyear law suit, but rather proactively avoid the practice of ageism in your job search.
BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer TweetChat all about women in the C-suite with top executive search consultants, Cathy Logue from Stanton Chase and Bridget Papanicholas of TRANSEARCH International, and Kathy Simmons of BlueSteps’ Executive Career Services.
Some of the questions presented to our panel included:
Ageism is a discriminatory attitude broadly defined as prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, in practice it can involve discriminating against younger, not just older workers, though the latter is the more usual connotation. The online Oxford Living Dictionary quotes ‘ageism in recruitment is an increasing problem’.
“Ageism”, being an “ism”, means that it is a matter of “subjective” thought. The implication, ageism is a matter of “Perception”, which as an employee, or job candidate, you have some level of control. Historically, those most concerned, were largely those in their 50’s. Ageism, is now a metaphor, which is multi-dimensional, and evolving. While ageism is known to affect organizational hiring practices, you as an employee or job candidate, have more “self-control”, today, than ever before, as to how you are perceived. This publication series deals with these topics.
#BeBoldForChange was the theme for 2017 International Women’s Day with a call to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world. Companies across the world took to social media to show their support with the cause and we saw a number of excellent profiles on senior female business leaders across media platforms, LinkedIn, YouTube, corporate websites and blogs.
It may surprise you that age discrimination impacts both the youngest and oldest professionals in the job market and employment. Despite, the inroads in perception and equality for women, gay people, disabled people and minorities, ageism remains prevalent in the workforce.
A middle-aged friend of mine had an interesting query when we caught up over beer & chips recently. The youngsters in my firm think they know it all, he said. My older colleagues also think they need no advice, he added. “Who is right?” was his exasperated question! Come to think of it, no wonder my office chef says that he can double up as a juggler, especially when he does the balancing act every day cooking lunch for 3 different generations! Curiosity aroused, I set off on a week-long expedition of research, thinking, conversations & observations! Below is the summary of my findings captured in the form of the top 7 tips for leading multi-generational teams:
For many executives, running into age discrimination is a unfortunate reality, especially since it’s partly about health and money. How do you turn your years of experience into an advantage?
Be prepared for those inappropriate questions. There’s nothing that exudes confidence and professionalism better than being prepared for those awkward and sometimes illegal questions that come out in an interview.
Don’t…be defensive. Recruiters and hiring managers look at a defensive behavior and try to read between the lines.
“Ageism”, being an “ism”, means that it is a matter of subjective thought. The implication: Ageism is a matter of perception, which as an employee or job candidate, you have some level of control. Historically, those most concerned were largely those in their 50s. Now we have the millennials; who are known to place quality of life ahead of work achievement. Ageism is now a metaphor, which is multi-dimensional and evolving. With better healthcare, many in their 50s are performing at the same level as those in the past did when they were in their 40s. While ageism is known to affect organizational hiring practices, you as an employee or job candidate have more control as to how you’re perceived now than ever before.