Memorandum from Ms Irene Filler
I work for an international company and run
the HR department of a division employing 110 people. Our company
is in the manufacturing sector.
I believe that ageism is totally inappropriate
in business. Either someone is qualified to do a job or they aren't.
I have met all ages and abilities and have recruited for the lowest
skill set to board level. Age has never come into the equation.
Ageism is experienced at both ends of the scale.
Young people are often rejected as they lack experience. That
being the case, why on earth do over 50's get rejected as they
have years of experience! Young people can be trained and are
the lifeblood of any company. Older people are the trainers and
the font of knowledge. Therefore a mix of ages is ideal.
I would like to see legislation against ageism,
but I would also like to see a change in the mindset of people
who advertise in devious ways to deter older people, for example
"we are a young company". How can we bring about this
change? Legislation is an obvious startit is beginning
to work in other areas, such as racial discrimination, but it
must also feature in education and training. Older people could
do more to help themselves. Those who feel they reached the pinnacle
of their education 30 years ago and have made no effort to continue
to learn are their (and our) own worst enemies.
In case you wonder where I fit in age-wise:
I am 54 years old and graduated at 49! I have an individual learning
account and grab at every single training opportunity that comes
my way. I am also a trainer within the company for whom I work.