What is Ageism?

Ageism is the discrimination or prejudice against individuals based on their age. It can occur in various contexts, including the workplace, healthcare, and society at large, and can affect both young and older individuals.

Key Features of Ageism

  • Stereotyping: Generalizing capabilities or traits based on age.
  • Exclusion: Excluding individuals from opportunities due to their age.
  • Bias in Hiring: Preferring candidates of certain ages over others.
  • Impact on Performance Evaluations: Allowing age biases to influence performance reviews.

How Does Ageism Work?

Ageism works through the perpetuation of stereotypes and biases that devalue individuals based on their age. In the workplace, this can manifest as preferential hiring practices, unequal opportunities for training and advancement, and unjust evaluations. Ageism can also impact social interactions and access to services.

Best Practices to Combat Ageism

  • Awareness Training: Educate employees and management about ageism and its impacts.
  • Inclusive Policies: Develop and enforce policies that promote age diversity and inclusion.
  • Merit-Based Evaluations: Ensure performance reviews are based on objective criteria.
  • Support Networks: Create support systems for employees of all ages.


Yes, ageism can affect individuals of any age, including younger employees who may be perceived as inexperienced.

Laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in the U.S. protect individuals from age-based discrimination in the workplace.

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