Maureen Wiley Clough | Midlife Fulfilled Podcast
134

Ep 134 Winning the Battle Against Age Discrimination in the Workplace

Age discrimination in the workplace should be viewed as an economic imperative to leverage the full potential of experience, knowledge and wisdom.

On episode 134 Maureen Wiley Clough joins me for an eye-opening conversation about the reality of age discrimination in the workplace. Maureen was called a “dyno” in the workplace at age 37. This was a wake-up call for Maureen.

Here are 3 key discussion points from our conversation:
1️⃣ Age diversity in the workplace contributes to innovation and better outcomes. A wide range of ages and experiences brings different perspectives and ideas to the table. It’s an economic imperative for companies to embrace age diversity and create an inclusive environment.

2️⃣ The tech industry in particular, along with the corporate world, has a bias towards youth. Many young startups tend to hire and surround themselves with a predominantly young workforce. This devalues the experience and wisdom that older employees can bring. Companies should actively seek to include older workers and benefit from their wealth of knowledge.

3️⃣ Awareness is the first step towards change. By openly discussing age bias and discrimination, we can create a supportive community for those who have experienced it and work towards finding solutions. Let’s celebrate getting older, challenge ageism, and improve the representation of all age groups in the tech industry and beyond.

Maureen is on a mission to raise awareness for age discrimination in the workplace. She wants to see businesses come to the understanding that it is an economic imperative to have age diversity in the workplace.

When you listen to this episode consider your own experience in the workplace. Share this episode of the Midlife Fulfilled Podcast with someone who needs to hear it.

Studies mentioned by Maureen.
PWC study – https://www.shrm.org/foundation/ourwork/initiatives/the-aging-workforce/documents/age-diverse%20workforce%20executive%20briefing.pdf
EEOC Diversity in High Tech report (footnote about age underrepresentation) – https://www.eeoc.gov/special-report/diversity-high-tech

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@midlifefulfilled/

Connect with Maureen Wiley Clough
Website: https://www.itgetslateearly.com/
LinkedIn: 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/maureenwclough/
YouTube: 
https://www.youtube.com/@itgetslateearly
Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/itgetslateearly/

Midlife Career Reboot Workbook | Bernie Borges | Midlife Fulfilled Podcast

Episode Transcript

Bernie Borges [00:00:00]:

Maureen Wiley Clough, welcome to the Midlife Fulfilled podcast, a maximum episode.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:00:06]:

Thank you so much for having me here, Bernie. I’m delighted.

Bernie Borges [00:00:10]:

Well, I am delighted to have you, and I’m looking forward to diving into our conversation. It’s a really key topic. But first, let me give my listener And, viewer, those that are watching, just a little bit of background, a little bit of introduction, for for you, Maureen. You are an ex journalist, And you say that you found yourself somehow working in the tech world, and then you discovered that you were, quote, unquote, old Even before you turn 40, and that is the genesis of your podcast. You you call it a new podcast, and it’s called or titled, It gets late early, and it’s all about the experience of getting older in the youth obsessed tech industry. And, basically, you’re having conversations with people that are passionate about this topic, about age bias in the corporate world, not just tech, but in the corporate world, Really with the intention of making things better for all of us, and that includes employers as well. So what I asked you to come prepared to do to chat about today, Maureen, is just Building awareness for the merit of age diversity in tech, but, of course, not limited to tech, just in the corporate world. So with that as kind of a backdrop, why don’t we begin, Maureen, with a little more kind of context of your experience, your corporate experience? You know, tell us about that Tech world experience you had.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:01:34]:

Oh, yeah. So I I really accidentally I say fell into tech very deliberately. I I accidentally got into tech because I was a young woman living in New York City, just living it up, working in the TV industry, and I thought, you know, I wanna check something else out. And it was back in the time where there was, you know, monster.com and that sort of the job board situation, and so many of the employers were requiring that you had cover letters. And my priority at that time in life was was not really sitting down and writing cover letters, if I’m honest. And so I really wound up in tech because I didn’t have to put a cover letter in, and I got accepted at Bloomberg. I mean, that’s actually it. It’s really humiliating, but it’s the truth.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:02:14]:

And so I got in there, and I thought, Well, you know, this should probably be a little bit better than the news industry in terms of ageism. Not that this was even on my radar at that time other than having been in journalism and seeing all the television anchors, the females kinda getting put out to pasture a little bit earlier than men. The men were allowed to get gray hair and so on and so forth, and the women were replaced with, You know, 20 30 year old women at once they hit 50. Right? So that happened, and I saw it. And I was like, Maybe this is not a place where I should be. But once I got into tech, I looked around and I saw largely the same thing. There were just very few older people in the industry at all. And so I’m talking not even in tech I’m sorry.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:02:53]:

I’m talking not even in the news industry thinking of the on camera talent. I’m talking, like, everybody at the company. So I noticed this this even in my twenties. So I was like, where where should they all go? Do they disappear? Like, there’s a supply and demand thing. Like, it just doesn’t really make sense to me. So I remember even at, you know, my early mid mid twenties or so, I was aware of this as a potential issue for me. And as I continued on in my tech career, I I ended up liking tech and getting better job after better job. You know how that sort of just happens, and you get promoted, and you move, and so on and so forth.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:03:25]:

And then you Become happy with what you do because you’re good at it. Because, right, I I eldest daughter here really love to high achieve, you know, all that stuff. That’s very real. People pleasing tendencies. So I I found myself at these various tech companies of of sizes that really range. So the small venture backed Tech companies, startups that you would maybe imagine would have a lot of youth and a preference for it. But that also extended to the bigger companies out there of which I was a part. I was like, wait.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:03:54]:

This is a constant. So it got in my head, and I started looking for it. And I started fearing that if I didn’t keep climbing the corporate ladder, I was going to be pushed off altogether. And I thought to myself, if I don’t hit VP or senior director or something like that. Probably even before 40, I’m finished. Like, there’s no place for

Bernie Borges [00:04:16]:

me here.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:04:17]:

I really felt And

Bernie Borges [00:04:18]:

were were you were you alone in this thinking, or were you having conversations with work colleagues about this?

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:04:25]:

You know, I wasn’t alone at all. And the second that I started talking about it with people, everyone it was a foregone conclusion in everybody’s mind. It was a foregone conclusion. People were just like, yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s up or out. It was just accepted. And I thought, well, That seems like a really, really bad thing.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:04:45]:

We should probably start acting as though, or I should say, We should probably start getting ahead of this. And, you know, at the time, I didn’t think of doing any sort of advocacy whatsoever also, Bernie, I mean, you probably understand this too. It it sort of feels like aging is something that happens to other people. Like, we never really quite believe it’s going to happen to us, which is ridiculous, but we don’t.

Bernie Borges [00:05:09]:

Are you telling me it’s happened to me? I no. No one told me that.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:05:13]:

I don’t know. You’re doing the midlife of both podcast, but you know what I mean? It’s just you you you don’t actually believe it’s going to Happy to you. So

Bernie Borges [00:05:22]:

Yeah.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:05:22]:

It was sort of something to worry about tomorrow that I didn’t feel the need to address then. But as the years started going on and I suddenly found myself in a tech start up and being called a dino when I was 37, I thought, wow.

Bernie Borges [00:05:38]:

At 37.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:05:39]:

37. I was called a dino, and

Bernie Borges [00:05:41]:

it’s I mean, I could see if you were a gymnast, But in

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:05:45]:

tech? Exactly. Like, the parallels between professional athletes and tech, they shouldn’t be there. Like, there’s no re it doesn’t make sense for a white collar profession at all for knowledge workers at all. You know, the physical limitations of the body versus what we can do with our knowledge and

Bernie Borges [00:06:00]:

and Exactly.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:06:00]:

Works. It does

Bernie Borges [00:06:01]:

not matter. Not Me I didn’t mean to be insulting to a gymnast, but I was just stating the obvious, right, that a gymnast is is in their prime in their teens and early twenties Yeah. Generally speaking.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:06:12]:

It’s true. It’s true. But that’s it it’s a very different thing. It’s an understandable thing in the sports world that is not at all understandable for the white collar professions that we inhabit. Right? So Yeah. It it was something that

Bernie Borges [00:06:25]:

Now I’m curious, Maureen. As you were having these conversations, were any of these conversations with either the CEO or other members of senior leadership?

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:06:35]:

Absolutely not. No. No. No way. And and actually in large part because those senior leaders you just mentioned were oftentimes younger than I was. Right? So Except

Bernie Borges [00:06:45]:

for Michael Bloomberg.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:06:47]:

Except for Michael Bloomberg. No. He was he was significantly older at the time, but, you know, his company was full of mostly young people. Yeah. So, and there are a lot of different reasons for that, I believe. And and certainly, you’re not gonna have companies coming right out and saying it, but There is, I I insist, a preference for youth because of the relative cost of labor. People, as you go through your career, you get Raises, merit raises, inflation requires different sort of, cost of living adjustments and whatnot. So, necessarily, Your your cost will go up.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:07:20]:

But with your cost going up, your experience and your value goes up as well. And that’s the missing piece that people aren’t focusing on. And the reality is that we need a wide range of ages and experience levels at companies in order for them to have the best possible outcomes and the best innovations. It’s just like any other kind of diversity in the world. Right? And we know that diverse teams produce better outcomes. We know that. So we need to bring age diversity into the mix. It’s only an 8% of DEIB initiatives right now at present according to PwC’s research.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:07:54]:

So we have a long way to go, and I fully believe that the shift in age demographics that is upon us now where we are getting markedly older really, really quickly It’s going to make this an economic imperative, not just the morally right thing to do for companies, but an economic imperative. So we should be getting ahead of it. Yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:08:13]:

So the was this primarily in New York City?

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:08:17]:

No. My tech career actually was primarily in the Seattle area where I live. Okay. Yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:08:22]:

Okay. Alright. So Seattle’s a tech hub. New York City’s a tech hub. Obviously, most of California is a tech hub. There’s, of course, Austin, Texas, Boston area. Those are kind of hubs around the country. Even where I am in the Tampa Bay area, it’s It’s it’s it’s emerging as a tech hub, believe it or not.

Bernie Borges [00:08:41]:

I don’t know if you know that, but it is. And I’ve seen it myself, although I’m a little removed from it because I had my own agency for 15 years, so I did see it in my client base, which was a b to b client base. And then the company that I work for now full time is very diverse in age, so I’m not quite as exposed to it as as you have been. So I’m wondering, Maureen, as you were having these conversations, was it always conversation around the problem without a Solution, or did you have conversations around solutions?

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:09:17]:

So solutions are something that I’m focused on right now. Back when I was having these conversations before I kicked off podcast. It was really just like does anyone else notice this? Like, can we talk about the elephant in the room here? Like, where do these people go? And it was really, like I said, an accepted thing. It was just like, yep. People either get pushed out to go to the country club of Microsoft, or they go to consulting, or, you know, they retire early. And I was like, wait a minute. Like, the cost of living is what it is. We are not saving enough for retirement largely, And we’re living to a 100 now.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:09:49]:

So how does this math add up? And so it perplexed me. It concerned me as I I mean, I believe, actually, Bernie, frankly, all of this podcast, the the very fact that exists is really kind of the manifestation of a midlife crisis. So I’m hoping it will do some good, but I I really started thinking, do I want to build a career in an industry that doesn’t seem to want me? Right? The EEOC put out a high, diversity and high-tech report back in 2014, nearly a decade ago, to point it out that age is an underrepresented factor in the tech industry and that it needs to be studied more. Almost 10 years on, no studying has been done. They don’t collect the data, and it’s known to be an issue. Right? So we have a lot of work to do.

Bernie Borges [00:10:36]:

Interesting. Because I’m thinking about the the FANG stocks. Right? Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google. I think Zuckerberg is the only one that I don’t think Zuckerberg is 40 yet. Obviously, he was very young when Facebook

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:10:52]:

was founded. Not. I have a copy of the latest magazine of Forbes. It’s actually over here, and I’m gonna have to move to get it. But it’s literally Mark Zuckerberg on the cover, and it says, Zuck grows up. So, yeah, he’s about to hit 40.

Bernie Borges [00:11:06]:

He’s about to hit 40. But the other CEOs right? So outside of Facebook, although soon, he’ll be 40. Apple, Tim Cook, Netflix CEO, I forget his name, but I know he’s over 40. And, The the CEOs of Google, who I also forget his name. Same thing with Microsoft, Microsoft CEO. So, you know, as as I just look around the industry, it seems like Most CEOs are over 40.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:11:33]:

Yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:11:34]:

Right. Right?

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:11:35]:

But big players like that.

Bernie Borges [00:11:37]:

Yeah. But I think maybe what you’re referring to is more of the Smaller tech companies that are really comprised of that young and and and I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the CEOs that are 27, 28. Yep. And, of course, their team is in that same age demographic.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:11:54]:

Exactly.

Bernie Borges [00:11:55]:

You know, it’s funny because I just I have a friend who just recently went to a tech company, and we had this conversation because the founder and CEO of this tech company is a young Individual, young man. Right? He’s probably early thirties and super smart as you would have to be to be a successful, you know, tech Startup CEO, and he had previously worked for my friend Wayne. Wayne is in his forties, I think mid forties, And so the CEO went out to Wayne and said, Wayne, I want you to come join our company and join us as COO. And Wayne’s response was, she said she said, when when you worked for me, like, 10 years ago, he said, I knew someday I would work for you because you’re so sharp. But here, the kind of the opposite is happening. Like, this young CEO recognizes and values Wayne’s experience, Wisdom, etcetera understood. And brought him in as COO.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:12:54]:

I love that, and I wish we saw more of it. Actually, famously, Brian Chesky, Ski, the founder of Airbnb, did the same thing. He brought Chip Conley, a famous hotelier, in as the head of hospitality, to help them grow and disrupt this industry. And they knew, Brian knew, out of the gates that he needed someone with All the know how and the reputation and the experience to help him through this industry change. So, I mean, it does happen. There are people like that. You can’t Paint just like anything else. Right? You can’t paint everybody with the same broad brushstrokes, but I would say that that’s more uncommon than common based on what I’ve seen.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:13:32]:

Yeah. But you’re you’re correct to say that these larger entities do tend to have some experienced leadership at the helm, and that I would expect to be throughout the ranks of of any larger company. But there is just a market a market number of very, very young startup founders that don’t necessarily have the experienced people around them. And I think that that does need to change. And it’s interesting too because the venture capital firms that back these young founders, I don’t really understand why they’re not saying, let’s bring in some experience Tara. Let’s bring in a good bench and people around you to help help guide you, see around corners, and show you The pitfalls that you could encounter if you if you haven’t seen them before because you haven’t been experienced. It’s not your fault. You wouldn’t see them, but just surround yourself with with people who’ve been there and done that.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:14:20]:

Right? It’s so

Bernie Borges [00:14:21]:

Exactly. Exactly. Go ahead.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:14:24]:

No. It’s just really all about having a diversity of age and a diversity of experience around you. It’s going to make for better outcomes.

Bernie Borges [00:14:32]:

Yeah. So there’s there’s a concept that I heard recently. I forget where I heard it, But it’s a distinction between the knowledge worker. You’ve referenced the the knowledge worker and the wisdom worker. The wisdom worker is older, more experienced. It’s like my friend Wayne who is in his mid forties. He was brought in as c COO Because he’s a wisdom worker. Not just a knowledge worker.

Bernie Borges [00:14:56]:

He has wisdom because of the years of experience that he has. And and and maybe if that concept was more widely understood and and and sort of proliferated, You know, among the the tech community CEOs that are under 35, and to your point, the the VCs, you know, why are they not encouraging Bringing in 1 or more wisdom workers to really round out the management team.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:15:24]:

Yeah. I I think that I love that phrase, the wisdom worker. It’s really true. And it’s not that the younger people cannot bring something to the table, but they bring something different, probably. Right? And so It’s the power of all of them together. I I really I think this is gonna shift. I I’m very, very hopeful and bullish on it changing because of the shifts in demographics in our population. I think it it kind of might get to a point where it sort of self corrects.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:15:51]:

I hope I hope we get there. But I think we, as a society, have such a problem with aging. And so you have to remember every single company is made up of individuals to all bring their own bias to work every day. Right? So even if your company policies say, hey. We don’t discriminate on the basis of anything, including age, You have individuals coming into those specific roles working in recruitment or working as hiring managers, and they have their own biases whether they recognize it or not. Right? And These things get shown in the way in which job descriptions are written. Right? It it’s like if and actually, there’s a firm called Textio that does really, really great work on this front. They they actually study the language and the bias that goes into these job descriptions and help remove it so companies can actually do a better job at ensuring that they have access to all types of candidates no matter who they happen to be.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:16:43]:

Right? But, You know, there’s there’s language that’s baked in there that people don’t even understand. And especially with age, it’s just accepted. Like, it’s not even it’s not even something people consider to be wrong. Right? Like, people will say, oh, he’s so old. Or, you know, what a dino. And they don’t realize how derogatory that is. They don’t realize how it’s not okay. I mean, if you if you shifted the word woman in there, like, It’s inconceivable.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:17:10]:

No one would be like, oh, she’s just a girl. Like, that would not happen. But it’s that it’s that accepted in our society. So it’s it’s really At the end of the day, this is all really deep inner work that we all have to do. We all have to come to terms with getting older. And so part of the the mission of it gets late early is to celebrate getting older. It’s to make sure that people know the good stuff about getting older in how it can make you happier. I mean, the u curve of happiness, for example, we all know that, like, that is real.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:17:41]:

And so the older you get, I think it’s 55 that they say the u curve of happiness really starts pumping up. Like, we have good stuff ahead, and we’ve been fed a bunch of lie. Like, it it’s it’s gonna be good up there, and we just need to reframe our mindset.

Bernie Borges [00:17:56]:

Yeah. I think it’s, by the way, Technically, according to the You Happiness Curve, we bottom out at age 47.2, which I think is really kind of entertaining. Right? 47.2.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:18:08]:

That is extremely good.

Bernie Borges [00:18:09]:

To to climb back up the other side of that u and get happier again. Tell me more because I wanted to go there, and you just just touched on it. Tell me more about your mission. It gets late early. And and this mission that you’re on to really raise visibility and and and be a a solution To or offer solutions to this, this this bias this age bias.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:18:35]:

Yeah. I mean, first and foremost, it’s to get it out into the open And and to create awareness around age bias because it really has been this open secret in Silicon Valley. And when I say Silicon Valley, I do mean all the other tech hubs you mentioned earlier, not specifically, geographically, Silicon Valley, but tech in general and and corporate, actually, by extension, corporate America. But it’s really bringing it out into the open and making sure that it gets the focus and attention that it deserves. It’s really validating the people who have experienced this so that they don’t feel so alone, that they know that this is not made up in their heads. It’s not something that they can just be gaslit on. Right? It’s it’s it’s legitimate. It’s there.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:19:13]:

So that’s the 1st step. But then from there, we want to go and galvanize the community to increase awareness on this so that they can actually start getting to solutions. I don’t want my podcast to be a place where people just sit around and complain about things. I want us to actively work towards change. Little complaining’s fine here and there and Certainly deserved in in many cases, but we need to move towards solutions. And so I really want it to be a a place of hope. And so I wanna celebrate people who have had Really great, long successful careers in tech, people who are changemakers, people who have found themselves moving out of tech and doing their own thing. I really wanna have a variety of perspectives in the show.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:19:52]:

And then, also, I’m really looking to try to find more data on this topic. There’s not much that exists. You know, I mentioned the EEOC report calling out that it’s underrepresented. I want to find more information about the value of experienced and experienced and the value of intergenerational teams and in a multigenerational workforce. So I’m seeking to find all of that. So there’s a bit of see there too. And let’s call a spade a spade. Employers are not going to make a change until they see that there’s actual shareholder value creation that they’re leaving on the table by virtue of not employing an intergenerational workforce and increasing age diversity at their organizations.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:20:30]:

That’s just how it is. So that’s the aim.

Bernie Borges [00:20:34]:

Fantastic. Fantastic. So maybe. No promises, Maureen, but maybe someone listening to this podcast might either work for a brand or university or an organization that might wanna partner with you to actually conduct some research. That’s something that I’m looking to do. I did research almost 2 years ago. I’m looking to update my research, and likewise, I’m looking for a partner on that. And so maybe if you find the right partner, again, brand, Organization, nonprofit, university, whatever it might be to partner with you to do that research, I think that could be really valuable research.

Bernie Borges [00:21:08]:

To your point, to to have data that you can really put behind this this movement, if you will, you know, to to create more visibility around it. And, and I think, You know, you’re also hitting the nail on the head that if it doesn’t impact shareholder value or if there is an awareness of the impact on shareholder value, then to your point, It’s not gonna get the attention that that it needs.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:21:31]:

Or it will get merely performative attention. Right? It’ll be like the equivalent of greenwashing in the environmental movement. Right? So we don’t want that either. We want real results. And I do think that there are good employers out there that don’t Practice age discrimination or age bias. So it’s it’s not all bad. And so I also wanna highlight the places that are doing it well. So that’s that’s another core part of this.

Bernie Borges [00:21:58]:

That’s a great point. And I think if you double down on that I don’t mean to imply that you’re not doing it enough, but, I mean, if you do a lot of that, Then that can help to raise awareness because someone might be listening that realizes that they’re not good at that, And maybe they hadn’t even thought of it. Maybe it just got past them.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:22:17]:

It just happens all the time. I mean, age just doesn’t even come up as a factor. And so this is we’re and and, frankly, we’re at the bottom of the barrel with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion in so many organizations. Like, we’re not doing a good job. And so This just is not hitting the radar. So I don’t think it has malicious many people have malicious intent here, or corporations necessarily do. In some cases, certainly, they do. In fact, recently, there was a group at a company called Itutor Group in China based in China, and they were actually programming their AI applicant tracking system to actually preclude women 55 and above and men 60 and above from applying to the roles at their company.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:22:56]:

They got a hit with a lawsuit from the EEOC, and they lost. So there are some companies out there that do this. And by the way, I do wanna point out, and I would be remiss if I didn’t point out, Notice the disparity right there that I mentioned. Women at 55 were suddenly not okay, but men got an extra 5 years to go gray, and it was totally fine. So gender really comes into play. Sexism comes into play, and women are held to a much higher standard when it comes to preserving a youthful appearance. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve talked to in the course of doing this podcast and just behind the scenes who’ve told me, gosh, I feel like I have to look at least 10 years younger in order to keep a job and remain relevant in the tech industry. And I just I hate that.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:23:38]:

It’s it’s really awful. So I I think Creating awareness around the disparity in how men and women are treated around age is important, but I also think there’s some sort of 1st unifying thing here. Right? Like, we can all expect that we will face this type of discrimination in our lifetime. Let’s all get behind changing it. Right? Let’s join forces. It’s it’s one of these things that we can all face together. So don’t discriminate against your future self.

Bernie Borges [00:24:05]:

Yeah. Now I I applaud you for for bringing heightening the awareness on this, and I think Coming back to what we just discussed a minute or 2 ago, just showcasing examples of companies, especially if you can get some CEOs On your on your show. You know? And really invite those CEOs to really even acknowledge where they fell short and they were became aware of it if that’s that that’s That’s the case. And and what they’re doing and how they’re doing it right or how they’re doing it better and how it’s a work in progress and all of that Can really help to to heighten the awareness, and then maybe just forming communities around that. Maybe, you know, forming a community of companies that that are committed to improving their age discrimination because they’re maybe became aware of the fact that it was happening more than they even realized. And so So maybe building some community around that and all of that can just, you know, continue to sort of rise the tide, if you will, to use that age old, you know, metaphor, right, by by putting that kinda momentum behind it with with companies that are acknowledging it and waving the flag saying, we’re working on it, because Many of them acknowledge that they’re missing out to to the point you made earlier. They’re they’re missing out By excluding people just based on some age bias.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:25:27]:

Yeah. I mean, experience is grossly undervalued. And it’s It’s a hard thing to quantify, but I I hope we can get closer to doing so because I think the impact to organizations is is massive.

Bernie Borges [00:25:39]:

Agreed. Agreed.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:25:40]:

And mentorship I mean, mentorship is another element of this. Mentors can come of all ages and experiences. I I think people should look underneath them in the org chart as well for mentorship because there’s so much that you can pass between generations and levels of experience. So, that said, Mentors are in high demand. There was a study done by Adobe recently, and 83% of Gen z We really would like to have a mentor. Only 52% of them responded that they had one. So People want the wisdom of experience. People want to be shown the ropes.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:26:16]:

And and so this is something that leaders at organizations should be actively trying to foster within their companies.

Bernie Borges [00:26:22]:

That that’s a great point. That Adobe study is a great point. So if you have a link to that, I’ll I’ll I’m happy to include that in in the show notes. Thank you for mentioning that. Marina, I love what you’re doing. I love your passion behind it. I I I wish We didn’t need to, but,

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:26:39]:

I’m It’s kind of a bummer we do. But hey.

Bernie Borges [00:26:41]:

Yeah. But I’m thrilled that you’re doing it, And, yeah, I invited you on the podcast because I wanna I wanna support you, and so thank you for sharing what you’re doing. Let’s let everyone know where can they con connect with you specifically and just learn more about everything you’ve got going on at it gets late early.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:27:03]:

Yes. If gets late early .com is the place. I am building out a newsletter and also a community to your earlier point, of individuals as well as companies working on actually getting out the word about companies that don’t practice age bias and age Discrimination. So trying to get a list of jobs where people could expect not to face so much of that. So that’s another effort we’re doing. But And then beyond that, I’m active on all the socials, and I can certainly put you in touch with every single one of those links that I have. But most active, I would say, probably on LinkedIn just because of the nature of the podcast itself.

Bernie Borges [00:27:39]:

Of course. And and your LinkedIn handle is your your full name?

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:27:42]:

It’s Maureen w Cleck.

Bernie Borges [00:27:45]:

Got it. Okay. Well, that, of course, will be linked up in the show notes. Maureen, thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Midlife Fulfill podcast. I’m gonna continue to you and help you wave that flag.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:27:57]:

Thank you. And I’ll do the same for you. I’m all about fulfillment, and I’m in midlife. So let’s, let’s spread the word about how great it could be. Right?

Bernie Borges [00:28:04]:

Love it. Thank you so much, Maureen.

Maureen Wiley Clough [00:28:06]:

Thank you.

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