August 2, 2023

The Stigma of Aging for Women

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-Written by Lusine Boyajian
a woman in black blazer sitting in front of the table with laptop
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

What is the stigma of aging?

The stigma of aging for women in the workplace refers to the negative stereotypes, biases, and discriminatory attitudes that women may experience as they age in their professional careers. This stigma can significantly impact the professional career of women due to the scarcity of job opportunities, along with the lack of career progression.

Women often face a double standard when it comes to aging. While men may be seen as more experienced and distinguished as they age, women are often subjected to age-related stereotypes that view them as less competent, or less adaptable to change. These factors negatively impact women as they are oftentimes not given the same opportunities for career advancement and growth.

Stereotypes and biases may lead to ageism, which means limiting opportunities for promotions, leadership positions, or new responsibilities as the employee gets older. Older women may face barriers in accessing training and career development programs primarily because of their age.


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Pay Gap and Economic Inequality

Age-related biases and stereotypes can contribute to the gender pay gap. As women age, they may experience reduced earning potential compared to their male counterparts. This can result from factors such as bias in hiring and promotion practices, and limited opportunities for salary negotiation and career advancement.

Mental Health and Well-Being

The stigma of aging can have negative effects on mental health and well-being of working women professionals. Experiencing age-related discrimination or witnessing biases can lead to feelings of self-doubt, reduced job satisfaction, increased stress, and decreased self-esteem.

Strategies for addressing aging stigma for women in the workplace

Addressing the stigma of aging in the workplace requires systemic changes and cultural shifts.

Employers should consider:

  • Implementing policies and practices that combat ageism. These may include training programs on bias and age discrimination.
  • Encourage age-diverse teams and leadership positions to foster a more inclusive culture. An employee being older can be beneficial to the team, as they are typically more experienced and have a lot of knowledge to share within their field.
  • Support flexible work arrangements to accommodate the needs and preferences of older female employees.
  • Offer mentorship, skill-building, and development programs that support the career growth of women employees and provide opportunities for continuous learning.
  • Create awareness campaigns and educational resources to bring awareness to age-related stereotypes and its negative effects.

It is important for organizations and individuals to recognize and challenge age-related biases, promote equal opportunities, and create an inclusive work environment that values the contributions of women across all ages.

It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


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