Age Discrimination - Young vs. Old
Give me the older generation any time
An HR manager recently posted a message that he had hired a woman over 50 and had taken quite a bit of heat for it from the younger generation. There were a number of comments, I put in my two cents and commended him for his decision. I added that given the choice between a 25-year-old and a 50-year-old, I would pick the 50-year-old every time.
Most young girls marry, start a family and go on maternity leave several times. Next, the kids get sick and mom has to take time off to look after them. With a 50-year-old, you avoid all that. Women that age are not only experienced, but they have also grown-up children.
When I said as much, I was severely criticized and insulted. It was even said that I discriminated against my own kind. Maybe that's true, but I'm no stranger to discrimination myself. Over the years I've been discriminated against for being too tall, too thin, too young, too old, being from a foreign country, speaking with an accent … you name it, it's been done.
If I'm partial to older women vs. the younger generation it has a reason, several reasons actually.
Take Tina for instance. Tina's parents spent close to $250,000 on their daughter's law school education. She had a brilliant mind, did her articles in one of the top law firms in the city, with a firm job offer after graduation. Six months before she graduated she met a man and married him. A month before graduation she announced she was pregnant and moving to Chicago. Her parents begged her to finish her education. She could practice law in Chicago after the baby was born. But no, Tina didn't want to listen, she wanted to be a full-time mom. Today she has two children, is divorced and her parents are still paying off her student loans.
Then there's Betty. Betty is an administrative assistant in a bank. Shortly after she started her job she got pregnant and went on a year's maternity leave. When she came back she announced she was pregnant again and took off for another year of maternity leave. When she came back to work she was already pregnant for the third time and off she went again.
Next up there's Yasmine. Yasmine also works for a bank, has four children and shows no signs of stopping. Her children range from ages 6 to 11. All four go to school and after school, they are looked after by their elderly and disabled grandparents. One is blind the other in a wheelchair. When Yasmine comes home from work, she picks up her kids and promptly kicks them out. In spring and summer, they play (unsupervised) in the condo building's garden, in fall and winter they are banished to the corridor. When it's time to eat she calls them in and after supper sends them to bed. When asked why the kids have to go to bed so early she openly states that she can't stand having them around. Well, if that's the case, why then have four children?
Now women over the age of 50, on the other hand, are a whole different kettle of fish. When they get hired, an organization knows it's getting value for money. Women who re-enter the job market at that age are either widowed or divorced and need the job for the money. The chances of an older woman quitting because she's getting married are slim to none, and the chances of her getting pregnant and going on maternity leave are zero.
Other benefits of hiring older women are that they will show up on time, every time. They are experienced, they know what they're doing, and take pride in their performance.
So, if you want to say that I discriminate against young people, go ahead. My conscience is clear.