It may just be a matter of time before you encounter age discrimination, as 44 percent of senior-level executives we surveyed were in strong agreement that their age will affect their ability to land their next position — up from 33 percent last year.
Despite increased awareness and federal protection, charges of age bias have escalated. In fiscal year 2008, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission logged more than 24,000 charges of age discrimination and recovered $82.8 million in monetary benefits. That's a sharp increase over the previous year's 19,103 charges and $66.8 million recovery.
Since this issue strongly resonates with our senior-level executive membership, we've been tracking relevant trends and saw some slightly shifting attitudes from search firm consultants:
There is clearly considerable room for improvement, but in an ExecuNet Roundtable discussion, members shared methods for finding the right fit for their long-term experience:
"Age discrimination is alive and well in some industries and companies.
However, there is a push in our favor (over 40, 50 or 60). We are regarded as the knowledge base from which the next level will grow. The key is to target companies that value experience, wisdom that comes from experience and the fact that chronology doesn't necessarily mean ‘antiquated.'"
"The actual consideration is cost vs. experience. The goal is to hire the best talent at the lowest cost. Usually, younger, less experienced individuals can be hired for a lower cost. More experienced, mature individuals will usually cost more. The challenge is to balance your need for experience with the price you're willing, or able, to pay."Robyn Greenspan
Robyn.Greenspan@execunet.com295 Westport Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851, 800.637.3126