Over the past few weeks, some workplace trends have been showing up in my feeds that I think should be of particular concern to women.
Age Discrimination Starts as Early as 35
PBS Newshour reports that age discrimination for women at work is now starting as early as 35. The older you get, the fewer callbacks you get.
Employers report that their concerns about "older" workers range from "an inability to deal with change," to "less active," "less technologically savvy," and "more likely to be absent from work." These are the concerns they've cited for years when talking about the 50+ crowd, but for women, it's now trickling down even younger.
Long-Term Unemployment Has Impacted Older Women the Most
The Kansas City Fed reports that women over 50 have been the hardest hit by long-term unemployment, which is defined as being out of work 27 weeks or more.
Technological Advances Likely to Impact Women More than Men
The World Economic Forum released a report, The Future of Jobs with a section on The Industry Gender Gap. With current trends, we are on track to lose 7.1 million jobs--largely in white collar administrative types of positions, more often held by women--and to gain 2 million jobs in computer, engineering and mathematical fields---a net loss of 5 million jobs.
In absolute terms, men will lose 3 jobs for every job gained. But women will lose FIVE jobs for every job gained. The loss of 5 million jobs is bad for everyone, but it's worse for women.
Traditionally male-dominated fields are taking on new-found importance in the new economy and unless there are big changes in women entering these fields, hiring trends, and employer work environments, women are likely to miss out on the major shifts coming to the economy.
These trends don't paint a rosy picture for women at work. I'm particularly disturbed by how age discrimination is dovetailing with gender, especially if this discrimination is starting even earlier. Women already face a rough road in terms of wage parity, access to opportunities and career advancement. When you add in age discrimination as a factor, that's a double whammy.