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February 2016
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How to Avoid Ageism in the Workplace
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

To foster an organizational environment of inclusion, it’s important to train employees to be respectful of everyone in the office. However, one particular group is sometimes left out of this consideration—older workers. Even if comments and attitudes aren’t directly ageist, they can still be hurtful to older employees. "I think language is powerful," says Tracey Gendron, an assistant professor in the department of gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University. "These words actually make a huge difference; they do." Even if a comment is coming from a place of encouragement, it can still come off as belittling. And most of these hurtful interactions concern technology. Older employees are often viewed as "adverse to change, that they won't take on new technologies," says Jessica Kriegel, author of Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes. "But it's often older workers who are implementing the changes to the technology."

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