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The best employers for workers over 50 – what does this say about age norms?

by on July 25, 2013

I haven’t seen this phrase for a while (it was quite common a few years ago) but this blog post in the Huffington Post asks if 60 is ‘really the new 40’ and suggests that ‘thinking young may also keep some of us in the workforce longer’.

It goes on to consider the trend towards working longer (for some) and which industries have attracted most older workers.

In the US, the AARP has a biennial award for the ‘Best Employers for Workers over 50’. This recognises exemplary practices for recruiting and retaining older workers. Click here for the list of the 2013 winners announced last month. The number of organizations in the field of healthcare is very striking (with universities, financial services, construction, aerospace, and government also represented).

My concern with the phrase ’60 is the new 40′ is that it gives a superficial appearance of challenging age conventions and assumptions but in fact reinforces age-appropriate
structures (albeit shifted in strictly chronological terms).  And the dominance of the ‘Best Employers’ list by healthcare firms also reinforces an association between older age and illness or disablity.

From → In the news

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