You are fifty something and you are advised that your services are no longer required by an almost faceless being. Your gut is in a knot and you can hardly breathe…the first thought is financial…your second thought is… what the hell do I do know?
Everyone knows how difficult it is to get another job. You sit trapped in the chair as you listen through a fog of redundancy rhetoric. Phrases like: “This is an opportunity for a new start” “You have two days of outplacement to help you write your CV”. It feels like the words roll off a faceless cold mechanical tongue, reading cold mechanical scripts in a sculptured body devoid of compassion. Perhaps it feels like that because in that moment, everyone is dealing with the discomfort, by dissociating from each other.
Breaking through the glass ceiling is relatively easy. I did it almost 20 years ago. But no one told me about the glass trapdoor – that was the shock nothing in my stellar career had prepared me for. At 50 my corporate stiletto slipped on the glass ceiling and I went head first through the glass trapdoor with a silent thud. My greatest strategic career failure was I did not understand 50 was considered old. In case I was in any doubt, an executive recruiter looked me straight in the eye and told me I was too old. At least he was honest, I guess.
This is not a unique story. The tentacles of age discrimination reach into every facet of Australian society and nothing we are currently doing is working. The government bribing companies by paying $10,000 per older employee has been a dismal failure. Less than 3000 people are involved in a scheme that hoped to attract 32,000.
On Wednesday Jenny Brice was interviewed regarding her new article on Ageism. ABC News’ Jon Coghill interviewed Jenny about her article and gained her perspective on the discrimination people face on account of their age, without knowing the skills and possible contributions those people could make.
A Sunshine Coast business coach is combating ageism in the Australian workplace and wants the corporate world to do the same.
Jenny Brice, a former high-flying human resources (HR) professional, said corporate Australia needs to have a conversation about how older workers can be an asset.
“The skills we have learned going through the tough times [of recession in the 1990s], and understanding what they are, can be unbelievable knowledge for corporations,” Ms Brice said.
Read the news report here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-03/age-prejudice-epidemic-in-corporate-australia-target-of-battle/7136190