Banning ‘age’ words only reinforces stereotypes

I agree with the recruitment agencies that have slammed the ban on words that could risk breaching age discrimination laws (Personnel Today, 24 October).

Rather than working towards breaking down age discrimination, banning the use of words such as dynamic, ambitious, mature and energetic (the list is endless) reinforces the cultural stereotypes attached to them. I am an energetic, youthful and certainly ambitious 48-year-old.

Five years ago, I was a recent graduate (ie, a mature, older student). On the course, younger students sometimes displayed their maturity (I’m pleased to say) and, at times, we mature students appeared more vibrant.

So, rather than banning the use of these words, we should all really think about what they mean, what they say about us, and, more importantly, what qualities we are looking for when we use them in recruitment.

Josie Hawkes
Manager, Back to Work Assistance

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