If you’re a male Gen Xer, you’re king of the world!

If you’re a male Gen Xer, you’re king of the world!

The walls of prejudice are closing. Ageism is becoming more obvious as the population gets older but it seems it’s also dangerous to be too young. Speaking in a NAB article, Michael Hyatt, Director Human Capital Advisory at Deloitte Australia, says that many employers are still working on the assumption that older workers are set in their ways and find it difficult to adapt to new work environments. But, at the same time, Baby Boomers and Generation X often dismiss Generation Y as lazy and apathetic.

God help you if you’re female. In the Guardian recently, Polly Toynbee wrote about Harriet Harman’s Commission on Older Women, noting that ‘a generation of women is being bundled out of jobs at an alarming rate, dumped into low-paid, part-time slots’.

She adds that, since 2010, there has been a 30% increase in unemployment among women in their 50s compared with a general increase of 5%. If they keep their jobs, they are paid on average a fifth less than men. Most women over 50 are part-timers though nearly half want full-time jobs, unable to save for decent pensions. They are ordered by government to work until 67, but then thrown out of good jobs, with the over-50s staying on the dole for longest. For them extending the retirement age just means longer penury, accused of “scrounging”. Those choosing to work part-time are often caring for family, for grandchildren and for aged parents at the same time. Three million older women have adult children still at home, average age 27.

The news is no better in America than in the UK. A 2012 OWL report found that ‘the past few years of economic decline, slow recovery, and related job cuts in state and local governments were particularly devastating for women. Along with the negative impact of the recession, older women workers are facing an array of obstacles in the workplace including age and gender discrimination; pay inequality; under-representation in business ownership, high-paying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs, and upper-management jobs; caregiving demands and penalties; underemployment; and a lack of retirement security.’

 Of course, many other factors such as race and physical size can influence your chances of getting a job but, in terms of age and gender, if you’re a white Generation X male, you’re surely king of the world.