Age is just a number. But in the workplace, your age can have a negative impact – maybe you were passed over for that promotion because your boss thinks you’re “too young”. Or maybe you feel that you weren’t hired for a position because the organization implied you were “too old”. Either way – this is ageism and we need to be more aware of it so we can address it.
In data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is predicted that by the year 2024, workers aging 55 and older will represent 25 percent of the United States workforce. This trend will permeate many industries – and requires developing policies and protocols against stereotyping and age-related discrimination for people of all ages.
In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, I share the screen with investor, performer, media entrepreneur and “professional mom to startups” Randi Zuckerberg and engage in an insightful conversation on ageism in the workplace.
Key points discussed in this episode:
✔️ The truth about aging women in tech. The culture continues that tech startups are mainly for young people. Randi adds that there’s double pressure on being a woman in this field. “I felt that 20 to 40 is like the appropriate age for me to be all in on a tech career. But I also want to have children, and how do I balance and throw that into the mix? So for me, age was something that I thought about all the time, working in a career on the front lines of technology. And I wish that we could change the narrative a bit to encompass many more people.”
✔️ Why starting a business late in life can be an advantage. Despite the industry being youth-centric, Randi posits that instead of feeling insecure about that, entrepreneurs should think of that as a competitive advantage with wisdom and experience to lean on. “You have such a bigger Rolodex at age 40 than you had at age 20 of contacts who you could hire or work with or partner or raise money from.”
✔️ Seniors have high spending power. Women at 65 and older are the cornerstones of purchasing decisions in many households in an age where they have disposable income from their career, and they’re using it. According to Randi, this age group is also driving so much tech adoption and the fastest growing demographic on social media. “I think it is a smart business decision to think about that woman as your customer. And I think more businesses are getting savvy to the fact that not only can they not ignore that customer, but they should also focus a lot of their efforts on her.”
Connect with Randi Zuckerberg …
Randi likes to call herself “a professional mom to entrepreneurs” because nothing gives her greater joy than working closely with startups and founders. Through her company, Zuckerberg Media, she has created award-winning content and experiences that educate families and bring to light digital literacy and safety issues. She is the best selling author of four books, producer of multiple television shows and theater productions, and hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM. Randi has been recognized with an Emmy nomination, two Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award, and a Kidscreen Award. Before founding her own company, Randi was an early employee at Facebook, where she is best known for creating Facebook Live, now used by more than two billion people around the globe.
When she’s not Facebooking or actual written-word booking, she can be found at the theater, on the golf course (newly obsessed golfer,) travelling the world (physically or virtually) to speak at conferences or doing her best to unplug at home with her husband and three children.
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (‘96) and Master of Science in Nursing (‘00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I truly enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home and office visits) then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer.
I obtained my PhD in Nursing and a post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing (2011) ) and then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the faculty at George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor where I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health and Humanities.
Find out more about her work HERE.