Do you see examples of age discrimination around you? What do you know about ageism in the workplace? Is it real? Yes, no question. And the situation at IBM is a huge, public –dare I say it, notorious—example. Allegedly, IBM let go of 100,000 older white male employees in the past several years.
What was the reason for that?
They wanted to have a workforce that was ‘cooler’ and more attractive to younger ‘must have’ job applicants. They didn’t want to be seen as that ‘fuddy duddy’ company that no one wants to join.
I kind of get what they wanted to do, but what will this actually accomplish? If they get rid of middle aged white guys (of which there were so many because IBM employees stay in the company a really long time) and just hire young white males, they will just repeat that pattern. Great thinking on their part….
Oh, and they will have a class action lawsuit on their hands, too. Now 100,000 white men can rightfully say they have been discriminated against.
What if they had worked to recruit a more diverse employee base over the past few years and put a plan in place? What if they could retool the look and feel of their workforce to be both younger but also more inclusive? They could have made a better effort to hire more women, more minorities, more colorful people.
Watch the video and let me know–via your comment– what you think about ageism and what you have observed in your own company. And share this link with those who lead companies or teams, so that they can learn and do a better job of dealing with these issues.
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly-successful global business, and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here.