Older employees offer experience to ride out the recession

The settlement of £250,000 from channel Five in Selena Scott’s action over age discrimination flags up a serious issue.

The 57-year-old newscaster who began her TV career fronting Grampian TV’s North Tonight claimed she was in line to cover for a colleague but was discriminated against for being too old.

Selena’s particular issue was with women in broadcasting. She claims that, while male news colleagues still appear on screen, older women are not so fortunate.

But ageism is a serious social issue that affects both sexes in other walks of life.

Short-sighted businesses often look to employ under 30s, while those over 50 (or even over 40) are sidelined to mark-time for their retirement. (With the current economic situation marking time is more often likely to be redundancy with little prospect of a new job, other than at enlightened employers such as
B&Q.)

But, is this one small silver lining of the current economic turmoil?

  • Young managers have no experience of downturns.
  • Many have never lived through a serious recession.
  • All have been brought up in an environment of relying on credit to finance business and personal acquisitions and have no idea what do do now that particular bubble has burst.

Suddenly younger entrepreneurs are seeking out wise counsel of older business heads, who can offer the wealth of experience that they are missing to weather the current storm.
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