Age is but a number, as the famous saying goes, and the person who said it first was Joan Collins. An English actress, known for her bombshell portraits on the soap opera dynasty, Joan was the first woman to break barriers of age. We often talk about sexism and racism but what about ageism? The prejudice or discrimination against people based on their age?
According to the AARP, about 35 percent of the U.S population is now 50 or older. Yet in 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — the nation’s workforce watchdog — issued a damning special report on age discrimination against older Americans. It concluded that even though 50 years had passed since Congress outlawed the practice, “age discrimination remains a significant and costly problem for workers, their families and our economy.”
In many organizations, people are evaluated based on their “runway” – their ability to stay at the same level or rise higher as they age. Women are especially discriminated against on the basis of age, in addition to being discriminated against on the basis of sex. Yet, many women make their most extraordinary contributions after they turn 50. Our goal is to debunk the myth that when you are at 50, you are looking at the end of your career. We want to show you that sometimes your best work comes when you are 50 or older.