havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/posts/a-case-for-rebranding-the-older-worker/
Ideas

A Case For Rebranding The Older Worker

A Case For Rebranding The Older Worker

Marian Salzman

Marian Salzman

February 8, 2018

The industry doesn't seem to have room for many over 40. But once we reach that milestone, invisible can't be the new normal, says Havas PR's Marian Salzman.

Campaign

Marian Salzman
CEO, Havas PR

February 7, 2018

As a country and an industry, we’re particularly lousy at knowing how to talk about age. We’ve been told all our lives that it’s impolite to ask about it, and we have a hard time untangling our fears from the facts. Instead, we ignore aging, laugh it off—or try to ward it off with the help of a thriving anti-aging industry.

These techniques are now cultural norms. Look no further than the “over the hill” jokes on most birthday cards. Todd Nelson, a psychology professor at California State University at Stanislaus, points out that no one would ever send a card mocking its recipient’s race or religion; he points to these birthday quips as proof of our tendency to think of getting older as something to be ashamed of.

Ageism in the workplace is especially pernicious—a subject I took on in recent weeks in Havas PR’s latest annual trends report. Baby boomers are plagued by the perception that they will require extra training and patience to get up to speed on technology, leading to a spike in job listings that explicitly state a preference for “digital natives.” Other companies are intentionally reducing the average age of their workforce to save money. At the same time, more boomers are delaying retirement for financial reasons. And 65 percent of older workers tell the EEOC they see their age as a barrier to getting a job. All this pits generations against each other.

Additionally, research shows that women experience ageism earlier than men, which nods to an issue that’s a particular problem in advertising: male privilege-slash-sexism. In our industry, ageism is multilayered. Not only are we battling the same discrimination issues as other industries, but age is also a dirty problem around the ads themselves. The industry doesn’t seem to have room for many over 40, either in the workplace or in marketing materials. Once we reach that milestone, is invisible the new normal?

Read the full article.

Campaign

Marian Salzman
CEO, Havas PR

February 7, 2018

As a country and an industry, we’re particularly lousy at knowing how to talk about age. We’ve been told all our lives that it’s impolite to ask about it, and we have a hard time untangling our fears from the facts. Instead, we ignore aging, laugh it off—or try to ward it off with the help of a thriving anti-aging industry.

These techniques are now cultural norms. Look no further than the “over the hill” jokes on most birthday cards. Todd Nelson, a psychology professor at California State University at Stanislaus, points out that no one would ever send a card mocking its recipient’s race or religion; he points to these birthday quips as proof of our tendency to think of getting older as something to be ashamed of.

Ageism in the workplace is especially pernicious—a subject I took on in recent weeks in Havas PR’s latest annual trends report. Baby boomers are plagued by the perception that they will require extra training and patience to get up to speed on technology, leading to a spike in job listings that explicitly state a preference for “digital natives.” Other companies are intentionally reducing the average age of their workforce to save money. At the same time, more boomers are delaying retirement for financial reasons. And 65 percent of older workers tell the EEOC they see their age as a barrier to getting a job. All this pits generations against each other.

Additionally, research shows that women experience ageism earlier than men, which nods to an issue that’s a particular problem in advertising: male privilege-slash-sexism. In our industry, ageism is multilayered. Not only are we battling the same discrimination issues as other industries, but age is also a dirty problem around the ads themselves. The industry doesn’t seem to have room for many over 40, either in the workplace or in marketing materials. Once we reach that milestone, is invisible the new normal?

Read the full article.

Marian Salzman is the CEO of Havas PR North America and was named one of the world's top five trendspotters.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: