Want to see the real picture of ageism in the UK? Well, here goes…
Having been passed over for interviews several times – and suspecting that this was due to being 40 years of age – my husband opted for the American approach, and deliberately omitted his date of birth from his CV on one job application. Within a matter of days, he received a phone call from the recruiter, requesting this information “for administrative purposes”. Right. What administrative purposes could there possibly be concerning the date of birth of someone who has not yet even been interviewed? Incidents like this are the norm, rather than the exception. My husband – who works in the IT sector – was snookered either way. If he didn’t give them the information, they would simply refuse to interview him on the grounds that he was unco-operative, so he told them. And that was the end of that.
In the IT industry, it seems it is not permitted to be over 40. With half of his working life still ahead of him, he has been completely sidelined. In spite of being highly respected in his field and having his advice sought by heads of IT from other organisations, he has not been invited for more than a handful of interviews in the last six years. He will be up a gum tree if his current employer goes out of business, which is not the most unlikely scenario.
I have to question whether these new age laws really will make a difference.